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Monday, September 25, 2006 

Some Foreign Leaders Are More Equal Than Others

The media's response After Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez gave his speech at the 61st United Nations General Assembly and at a couple of locations in New York isn't surprising, neither is the response from the Republican party. What is interesting is how the Democrats continue to concentrate on Chávez's devil remark and not on the remainder of the message he delivered.

One of the first to go on the attack is Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who felt compelled to go on record denouncing Chávez's words. She went so far to express that
"Chávez fancies himself a modern-day Simon Bolivar, but all he is is an everyday thug."

"Hugo Chavez abused the privilege that he had, speaking at the United Nations," said Pelosi, a frequent Bush critic. "He demeaned himself and he demeaned Venezuela."
Even Bush critic Congressman Charlie Rangel of Harlem condemned Chávez for being critical of Dudya.
"I want President Chavez to please understand that even though many people in the United States are critical of our president that we resent the fact that he would come to the United States and criticize President Bush," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
But this is the mid-term election season and it is hanging in the balance, politicians from both parties are jostling for votes.

It's not a surprise to hear the Republican party complain about Chávez, what is a concern is that the Democratic Party is letting the Republican Party define the playing field in vague "wedge issues" that teeters conveniently between the "patriotic" virtues and vilifying Arabs and Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism.

Why, because the Democrats have always been worried about the GOP spin machine. However, this is not the first time international leaders has come to this country and criticize Bush. Yet, the last time a foreign leader came here as said something, nobody had a problem.

In September 2005, when George Galloway, Respect party MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, came to US to promote his new book, Mr Galloway Goes to Washington, Galloway was very critical of the Bush Administration. In fact, he even had a debate Christopher Hitchens over the Iraq war at Baruch College. Speaking before a sold out crowd of more than 1,000 people, Galloway blasted Dudya in the same fashion as Chávez and nobody stated a thing. Nobody said that he "demeaned himself" or utter how "dare you come in this country" and "criticize President Bush." In fact, one could say he even was harsher than Hugo Chávez was
Nixon was impeached for far less than George W. Bush is guilty of ... [applause] ... the impeachment of these criminals, and their defeat by the people. And we have a chance to do it. Cindy Sheehan and Hurricane Katrina -- Cindy Sheehan and Hurricane Katrina have changed the political landscape here in the United States of America. If the Democrats had any guts, they'd be capitalizing on it now instead of hiding from it, because they're complicit in it on both sides.
Galloway was even advocating impeachment, which Chávez never even came close to say. The reality of the matter, Chávez simply voiced what many of us here in the US and in the world really think about Dudya. Not many people here in the US are willing to accept that the world is beginning to see us as Nazi Germany. In 2002, Arab News had an editorial cartoon having President Bush morphing into Adolf Hitler. The International Red Cross had even compared American Prison Guards at Guantanamo to Nazis.
The first concerns a story we heard first from a U.S. source that an ICRC representative visiting America's largest detention facility in Iraq last month had compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany.
Even worse a German justice minister has even compared Bush to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Sure many Germans were presumably unaware what was being said about Hitler and their country throughout the world, but with the Internet and the 24 hour news we as US citizens have the luxury to play deaf, dumb and blind to what the world is saying about us. How can we continue justifying the massive killing of 100,000 innocent civilians and the 2,702 US solders when those numbers exceed the 2,973 people who died in the Twin Towers.

It is time for us to wake up and reluctantly accept that we are becoming the most hated country in the world because of our policies that are put into place by our leaders. We can no long pass the buck and say it well it is Bush and Republicans because this is not how the world views it. They perceive us as one monolithic society. Currently, there is no third party that is even a threat of breaking up this two party system. What was said last year by Galloway about the still holds true today – the Democratic Party still lacks the guts to confront the GOP spin machine.

Instead of criticizing Galloway, America's racism within the two party systems reared its ugly head, point out, and condemn that Chávez had called Dudya the "Devil." Those within the Latin@ community who are in Congress should have indicated that when Chávez spoke of Bush as a devil, he was joking. As he said it smelled of sulfur, he made the Sign of the Cross, a common practice within the Latin@ community not only to show one's Catholic faith but also to ward off evil spirits. It is done seriously, but often it is done in jest. But no, none of that is told, it was plain and simple, someone who looks Latin@ is not allowed to criticize the mighty US.

The Democrats had a chance to capitalize what Chávez pointed out, the greatest enemy that we have is our own government. Chávez's remarks did not affect his position in the world and his relation with other world leaders. It has made him a hero. In fact, Venezuela now tops the US in aid in Latin America. Chávez has now emerged as heir apparent to Cuban President Fidel Castro of a movement, Non-Aligned Movement, that comprises 2/3 of the world's nations.
"Chavez is wildly popular in places where you wouldn't imagine people had even heard of him," said Carlos Mendoza, who was Venezuela's ambassador to Russia until last year and previously was ambassador to Saudi Arabia. "In the gulf states, for example, everyone knows who he is; they admire him and love him."
Do not be misled by what was told in the press, those secretaries did not boo and jeered, they all cheered as Chávez spoke those words.

It is time we cease playing the Orwellian game that some foreign leaders are more equal than others; we must immediately begin focusing on the real goal, halting US Imperialism, before it is too late for us.


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  • From Tejas, United States
  • Un Xicano who is tired of the current status quo.
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