Why are progressives more focused on disagreeing with Trump than countering a dictator?

Repeat after me, progressives: The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. You cannot wax indignant about human rights abuses committed by U.S.-backed regimes in Latin America (see, e.g., the controversy over Trump envoy Elliott Abrams for supposedly supporting death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala) and at the same time condone the human rights abuses committed by an anti-American regime supported by Cuba, China, Iran and Russia. At least not without revealing that you are as hypocritical as Trump is.

That said, progressives are right to warn, as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) does, against a military intervention in Venezuela. This is not Panama (population 3.8 million) or Grenada (population 112,000), small countries where a surgical strike could take down a regime. Venezuela is an oil-rich nation of roughly 30 million people that is awash in guns and militias. Sound familiar? We saw in Iraq β€” as well as in Afghanistan and Libya β€” that it’s much easier to crush a government than to restore peace and stability afterward. Launching air strikes against the Maduro regime would likely lead to the disintegration of the army, the only institution capable of keeping order once he is gone.