This past weekend, the ludicrous failure of a group of American mercenaries and a cadre of ex-Venezuelan soldiers to overthrow Nicolas Maduro's regime played out like a Coen Brothers farce. Countless headlines mocked the operation (dubbed “Gideon” by its hapless leader), while questions swirled about the Trump Administration’s involvement in the plot.
No community has more ruthlessly eviscerated the coup d’etat gone wrong, though, than American veterans. They've picked apart Silvercorp, the Florida-based security company that led the armed incursion, for the many, many mistakes it made on its way to becoming known as the masterminds behind the edgelord version of the Bay of Pigs.
On Instagram, several accounts popular among vets and with tens of thousands of followers have been dunking mercilessly on the three Americans—ex-Green Berets Airan Berry and Luke Denman (both in Venezuelan custody), and their leader Silvercorp CEO Jordan Goudreau—at the heart of the misguided attempt at regime change.
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One video repurposes the unmistakable anthem of the jingoistic satire Team America: World Police for Operation Gideon: “Silvercorp FUCK YEAH! We’re comin’ again to fuck the mother fuckin’ op yeah!”
Another video from the same account with close to ten thousand views mocks the absolute amateurishness and half-baked decisionmaking involved in Silvercorp announcing their amphibious assault on the Maduro regime days ahead of time (on Twitter, no less).
"You know I'm just gonna tell people what my plans are," say the lips of a person dubbed to be speaking with Post Malone. "You know, strike force incursion into Venezuela … It’s like revolution, dude."
Another meme shows Ralph from The Simpsons with a Silvercorp emblem on his stomach. “Geopolitical climate highly volatile in the midst of COVID and Five Eyes/G8 countries ignoring our sanctions to deal with countries we're at odds with?" the caption reads. "Say no more, America."
The special forces community, comprising thousands of former soldiers who’ve operated in the many campaigns of the War On Terror since 2001, is particularly blown away by the brazen stupidity of Silvercorp.
“These are guys who couldn’t make it in the major leagues, so they tried to create a major league of their own to the detriment of their own safety,” said one former special operations member who couldn't allow Motherboard to use their name because they still work in government. “It’s so common to see guys try to play with the big boys and fail miserably. SilverCorp just took it to the extreme.”
The former soldier believes the three veterans were essentially live-action role-playing mercenaries.
“If they could hack it doing legit shit, they would have, and they wouldn’t be out chasing down bullshit jobs and contracts with a three man show," he told Motherboard. "There are places for people with real experience to utilize it and do things with it and it’s obvious that Silvercorp did not have the experience or skill sets to be in those places. They were wannabes.”
Another former Marine Corps infantryman and military contractor with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, granted anonymity in order to speak candidly, told Motherboard that many Green Berets he knows have already completely denounced Goudreau and Silvercorp, whose actions have led to Maduro sending out videos like this:
“My colleagues who are currently Green Berets have completely denounced the careless and vain manner this operation seems to have been executed in and they don’t want this operation or company associated with the prestige and legacy of the Army Special Forces community,” he said.
“I’ve had the privilege of being on teams with Green Berets and in each instance, they were consistently reliable, the epitome of what a teammate should be, and performed at a high operational standard. I think that’s what makes this all the more confusing and disappointing for veterans seeing this play out right now. The contrast between this situation and the level Army Special Forces units operate is breathtaking to say the least.”
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