The Bolton “notepad incident” has caused quite a stir especially in the alternative media, but it is important to understand that this not-so-subtle message is not for Maduro and Venezuela but for you and I via hyper-active journalists.
The notepad incident is in reference to the recent media uproar over the handwritten words on US national security advisor John Bolton’s yellow legal pad that he was holding rather conspicuously during a press conference on the situation in Venezuela. There were two separate points written on the notepad “Afghanistan -> Welcome the Talks,” and “5,000 troops to Colombia.” The Washington Post feels the former is in reference to “ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban”. The latter is much more direct and does not require reading tea leaves to understand, however the question is who was this message directed at?
There is no way to prove that this notepad text was some sort of conscious attempt to send a message to the media, after all we can very often see important people with folders, papers, and other materials in hand. However if we review photos of press conferences especially at the White House we see that few people hold things in their hands when speaking and when they do they are more often than not in folders or on the podium where no cameras can see them. This inclines one to believe that Bolton may have wanted the media to take note of his notes.
Furthermore, the language of “5,000 troops to Columbia” is a more media digestible concept than any sort of real military plans.
Direct airstrikes against infrastructure and the use of strategic missiles are the ways to launch a successful military campaign in our age. This is the formula used by the US during the Second Iraq War in 2003…
“The first targets, which Bush said were “of military importance”, were hit with Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. fighter-bombers and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf.”
However Hollywood persists in showing war as a glorious battle of men with rifles because it is “cooler” and something much less abstract to the modern man who dreams of emancipation from his castrated office life to become a warrior.
It is true that infantry are very necessary for holding an objective, but that comes later. That is what US forces in Iraq are doing there now. Guy-with-rifle is needed to stand there to keep the land gained by the initial 21st century technological onslaught. The idea that some 5,000 troops (in theory with support vehicles) would really do much marching over the jungle border to Venezuela is absurd. This is a message for journalists who call every long gun that isn’t a musket an assault rifle. It is to get attention from the ignorant loudmouths in the media.
The number of 5,000 also seems a bit large for the mysterious “NATO trainers” which get sent all over the world to prepare proxy fighters or at times to do a little side work. This again leads us to believe that this is some sort of media message to perhaps discourage Maduro supporters or embolden the Guaido guys. Perhaps this aggressive text may be some internal hype for Trump as the Mainstream Media was nearly orgasmic when he decided to launch a mostly ineffective single missile barrage on Syria. Trump seems to be spending nearly half of his presidency simply fighting against media attacks and trying to stay a float which is a factor cannot be ignored. The chicken-hawk pro-war crowd are just as ignorant about the realities of combat as are most journalists meaning, that “sending troops” could buy The Donald even more Brownie points.
Bolton and crew are not planning to do anything revolving around some 5,000 troops. As discussed above this is all a very media (idiot) friendly message not an actual plan. If the US wants to go around throwing infantry at problems like pieces of plastic in a Napoleonic board game then the results are going to be disastrous for those men involved.
The United States faced a real and definable threat from Communism during the Cold War and yet the Vietnam War didn’t go very well despite having mostly good equipment and training. Sending a tiny 5,000 men through the jungle border to Venezuela who feel no real threat from the Venezuelans and are probably just in the military to get an education won’t end well. If the US is going to take Venezuela they will have to take it like Iraq. Any statements or scribbles on notepads to the contrary are just PR.