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Friday, April 23, 2004

Speaking the truth is madness
According to Marcela Sanchez of the Washington Post, anyway:

Indeed for some, Chavez is one of the most charismatic and politically savvy individuals around. Yet, there are lapses when he genuinely sounds mad.

In the course of a few days last week, Chavez sided with Iraqi insurgents, accused President Bush of financing “wars of domination” and said that if Jesus were alive he “would be confronting the U.S. Empire.” He repeated threats to stop selling oil to the United States, and called for sanctions against Bush for anti-democratic practices against U.S. citizens. He also accused Colombian politicians of prodding the United States to invade Venezuela.

Let's look at what Sanchez thinks is evidence of Chavez' insanity:

Siding with Iraqi insurgents? Well, they are defending their country against foreign invaders, something usually referred to as patriotism.

Bush financing "wars of domination?" What else would you call it? Two countries invaded in three years, many more threatened, full support of the brutal Israeli occupation in Palestine. There's no secret about U.S. plans for global domination. It's in the Project for a New American Century, it was in Bush's West Point speech of June 2002 ("America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge"), and in the National Security Strategy of September 2002.

Jesus confronting the U.S. Empire? Well, I think he would, as I wrote last year.

Stop selling oil to the U.S? The Bush administration supported the coup of two years ago and hastily recognized the fascist coup leaders. Chavez certainly isn't crazy to think that the Bushies are his enemies, and oil is the only real weapon he has against them.

Calling for sanctions against the U.S? Well, Chavez should probably butt out of U.S. internal affairs, but the U.S. has never butted out of Venezuela, which is probably the point he is trying to make.

I haven't read enough about the Colombian politicians, but it certainly doesn't seem far-fetched.

This whole column, which Sanchez titled "Venezuelan Follies," relies on Americans being totally ignorant of all of these issues, an ignorance about which the Post and Sanchez are doing little to dispel. It is despicable that Sanchez is labelling Chavez as insane based on his speaking truths of which most Americans are willfully ignorant.