[Marxism] LA Times says Bush should speak out against call to assassinate Chavez
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Aug 24 18:47:24 MDT 2005
No, it's not an anti-imperialist edit, but it shows that this is a
problem for the rulers in their anti-Venezuela policy. The current stage
is "Chavez the paranoid demagogue using poor Uncle Sam as a punching bag
to please the volatile Latin mob." I am old enough to remember this
phase in the anti-Castro buildup after January 1959. And as the LA Times
points out, Washington already got too far out in front on the 2002 coup
(which they thought was a sure thing).
Is the matter important? The LA Times states: "No less than the
president himself should renounce Robertson's remarks - not just to
bridge his credibility gap in South America but to show that the United
States is better than its politics."
August 24, 2005 latimes.com
Lost in translation
A PARANOID IS NEVER happier than when he discovers that he really does
have enemies. So Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Hugo
Chavez may be just the moment of vindication the Venezuelan president
has been waiting for.
It's not likely many people in the United States took Robertson
seriously Tuesday when he stated on his religious broadcast "The 700
Club" that Chavez was a "terrific danger" to the U.S. and that American
forces should "take him out." Robertson is notorious for remarks of
questionable sense or even sanity, such as his conclusion that feminism
"encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice
witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." But South Americans
may see things differently, causing considerable damage to the United
States' already poor reputation in the region.
Creating an implacable external enemy, and using fear of that enemy to
consolidate political power, is a time-honored tradition that few have
mastered as well as Chavez. He has used profanity to describe his
feelings about President Bush, and sexual innuendo in referring to
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; on Sunday, he praised Fidel Castro
as a paradigm of democratic governance.
In Robertson, Chavez may have found the perfect adversary. Bush, to his
credit, would never descend to Chavez's level of discourse. But Chavez
can plausibly argue that Robertson's worldview is similar to the
president's, citing Bush's closeness to the evangelical movement. Chavez
can also point out that Robertson has campaigned for the president and
is an influential member (and former candidate for the presidential
nomination) of the same political party as Bush.
And then there is the Bush administration's actual record in Venezuela,
which is hardly exemplary. In April 2002, the United States embarrassed
itself by not denouncing an attempted military coup against Chavez until
he had regained power. Later revelations that Bush administration
officials had been in contact with members of the Venezuelan opposition
months before the attempted coup only fueled the Chavez machine.
In such a context, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's quick dismissal
of Robertson's remarks, and his observation that the assassination of
foreign leaders is "against the law," is welcome but insufficient. So
are the widespread condemnations from political and religious leaders
from across the ideological spectrum. No less than the president himself
should renounce Robertson's remarks - not just to bridge his credibility
gap in South America but to show that the United States is better than
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