Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chavez is right!

By Heraclitus

Okay, okay, a needlessly inflammatory title, I know. But does Chavez have a point? First, let's look at some of the high points of his tirade, courtesy of the BBC's account:

"The devil came here yesterday," he said, referring to Mr Bush's speech on Tuesday. "It still smells of sulphur today," he added.

US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said it was disappointing to see a head of state speak in such a way.

Mr Chavez went on to criticise the UN system, which he said was "worthless".

Mr Chavez, who brandished a copy of American leftist writer Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, said Mr Bush promoted "a false democracy of the elite" and a "democracy of bombs".

"He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world," the Venezuelan leader said.

He called for drastic reform of the UN to reduce what he called US influence.

The UN in its current form "doesn't work", he said.

"I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system," the Venezuelan leader added.

"Let's be honest. The UN system born after World War II collapsed. It's worthless."

Well, if he's brandishing Noam Chomsky, he must be right. When did international politics become a theater of the absurd, in which every squalid and/or crackpot dictator strives with all his might to outdo the others in the game of farcical braggadocio? (Oh, right. The '70s.) Michael is right to call attention to the fact that Chavez is an old-fashioned South American autocrat, and thus unwilling to extend to his own people the rights he urges so passionately upon the UN.

Nevertheless, his observation that the UN "doesn't work" is hardly controversial. If you disagree, remember what's happening in Darfur, and what continues to happen as the UN sits arounds with its dick in its hand, fretting over whether or not to describe the systematic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people, and the displacement of two million more, as "genocide." The
BBC again:

The African Union (AU) has decided to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force in the Sudanese region of Darfur until the end of the year.

It is expected that Sudan will allow the 7,000-strong force to stay on beyond its 30 September deadline.

More than 200,000 people have died during the three-year rebellion. Over two million people have been displaced.

The Sudanese government has repeatedly rejected plans to transform the African force into the 22,000-strong UN mission agreed to by the Security Council last month.

The UN wants to send a full international peacekeeping operation to end what some governments have called genocide perpetrated by the Sudanese army and its associated militias.

Note the BBC's dishonesty and cowardice in using the phrase, "what some governments have called genocide," as if there are no independent accounts of what's going on in Darfur, just the word of one interested party against another (but what exactly is the U.S.'s interest in opposing genocide in Darfur?).

Prior to the meeting, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said the plan to replace AU troops with a UN force was a "Zionist plot" intended to weaken states in the region "in order to help Israel".

He said the move would allow opponents to dismember Sudan and plunder its resources.

Right. I suppose he was tipped off by the smell of sulfur coming from the meeting room.

He also insisted reports of a humanitarian crisis in Darfur were exaggerated.

But much of Darfur is inaccessible to aid agencies and the security situation has deteriorated in recent weeks.

A recent academic report said the number of additional deaths caused by the three-year conflict in Darfur ran into the hundreds of thousands and not tens of thousands.

The UN general assembly has already heard forceful calls for action in Darfur.

US President George W Bush said the credibility of the UN was at stake and announced the appointment of a special American envoy, former USAid chief Andrew Natsios, to help in the efforts.

President Chirac of France warned that a crime against humanity was being prepared in Darfur.

Right, prepared. Chirac has no equal when it comes to intellectual integrity.

All of this reminds one that President Bush is not the most loathsome figure on the international scene (not by a long shot), but it also reminds one of how much the world is in need of genuine American leadership, rather than crude and sanctimonious posturing from an incompetent who could not even grasp what was happening to his own country when Hurricane Katrina hit.

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