“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

“A friend of the Devil is a friend of mine”

Posted by direwolff on September 22, 2006

For some reason, all the hubbub about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s comments at the United Nations conjured up a line from the lyrics to the Grateful Dead song “Friend of the Devil”. I’m not acutally sure of why besides the mention of the Devil, but it did get me to thinking how little credence I give this term, but how powerful it can be taken by others. As I read through the article above and others on this topic, what struck me most is not what Chavez was bringing attention to, since much of it seems legitimate, but that his message was obscured by the personalized attack language he chose to use. Afterall, his mention that President Bush stole the election, at least the first one, is certainly not out of the question and by some accounts is indeed what occurred (“what’s up Justice Scalia not recusing himself with his son working for Bush at the time, doesn’t he know the law?”). That our Administration has behaved like imperialists as it relates to Iraq and is now beginning to do so with Iran, is certainly another legitimate perspective. That Bush became President of the United States on the back of his dad, is not preposterous given how little he knew about world politics when he first embarked on his campaign for office. Finally, that Bush was an alcoholic is also not a point in question, he was and that’s been settled as well.

Perhaps, when put together with images of the Anti-Christ, it’s more than some people want to hear. Perhaps this association, given that as citizens of this country we’ve been party to the insanity of a war without merit, a government out of control, business interests superceding human interests, and managing become a highly isolationist and disliked (I’m trying to be politic here, “hated” would be the less politic term) nation over these past 6 years even in the wake of 9/11 drawing much international sympathy our way, is too much for us to handle.

Well, in case anyone thinks that Chavez was out of line, perhaps they should review how government is respecting international law in our country. Perhaps reading this review (titled “Senators Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory: U.S. to be First Nation to Authorize Violations of Geneva”) of the situation with our obviously morally corrupt government will help more easily sympathise with Chavez’s words. His tone and vocabulary may have much to be desired, but he is saying what an aweful lot of people are thinking but afraid to talk about. Being from a small country that could easily make its way as the next target of our government’s “Hawks” makes Chavez pretty brave. Given that he is President of Venezuela I’ll say that like any politician or political leader I’m inclined to see him as just as dishonest as the next guy, with probably lots of skeletons in his closet, and for this his day of reckoning will come, but for now he’s certainly “calling it like it is”, so there’s no use bitching about it.

9/23/06 UPDATE #1: While I dare not put myself in the same class as Noam Chomsky, it’s good to see that we have similar perspectives on Chavez’s speech:

Mr. Chomsky said that he would not choose to use the same harsh oratory, but added that the Venezuelan leader was simply expressing the views of many in the world. And he said Mr. Chávez’s anger was understandable.

9/23/06 UPDATE #2: In the first paragraph above I mentioned that Bush’s stealing of the first election was a much discussed topic, but I had forgotten that the second election, with the Ohio debacle was also very much in contention. Well, this expose by Robert Kennedy, Jr. in Rolling Stone Magazine goes into this subject much more thoroughly…oy-vey!

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