Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Univision Dodd & Edwards play War Hawks

Congratulations to Univision on having the most watched Democratic presidential forum of any thus far in 2007. Sadly and strangely, it's one of the least commented on online. (We're doing a feature on that next Sunday. We've postponed it.) Due to the lack of attention it's received, some people may be unaware of one aspect of the current race that was exposed last Sunday night: A strong desire to demonize democratically elected leaders.

Did Hugo Chavez rise to power in Venezuela via a bloody, CIA-backed coup?

No, and that appears to be the problem for Chris Dodd and John Edwards.

Dodd was supposed to be answering a question about immigration when he decided to take the first pot shot at Hugo Chavez: "We're allowing Hugo Chavez to become -- winning a public relations battle in Latin America, because we don't invest enough and care about people who are suffering in this part of the world." What are 'we' allowing Chavez to become, Senator Dodd?

If you ask, John Edwards campaign continues to struggle to overcome Hillary Clinton's (in press attention) because he has suffered from "Me too"ism since the start of the year. On far too many issues where he should be carving out significant differences between himself and the other candidates, he appears in search of the popular theme -- popular among the candidates, not the people. Possibly that explains his jumping on the bandwagon to demonize Hugo Chavez?

Edwards declared, "Well, the starting place is one of our problems with our relationship with Venezuela and one of the problems with Chavez's basis for power in Venezuela is they have a very heavily oil-dependent economy. The United States of America unfortunately helps feed the oil-dependent economy and the power base for this dangerous leader."

What was Edwards saying? As with his comments on Iraq in the Democratic presidential forum right before the Univision one, this made no sense. It's a problem that Venezuela has a lot of oil? A problem for whom, Edwards, for whom?

And how is Chavez a "dangerous leader" because Edwards the one sounding nuts and demented. Has Chavez began building nuclear bombs? Has he launched an invasion of the United States or any other country? No. So exactly why is Chavez a "dangerous leader"? Or is Edwards attempting to signal to big business that he's just another corporatist whore who has dressed himself up in concern for the poor solely to play at being today's RFK?

Edwards wasn't done, "That is the reason that Chavez can be so effective in bringing others in Latin America to surround him when he demonizes the United States of America."

Does Edwards oft cited religion (he uses it as cover to discriminate against gays and lesbians) encourage lying? We're not aware of his faith, but we are aware that Hugo Chavez has criticized the current administration of the United States. We're also aware that so has John Edwards. So when John Edwards criticizes the White House, by his own logic, he "demonizes the United States of America."

Though John Edwards has yet to advocate impeachment in this country, he was full of talk of how to "pull the rug out from under a man like Hugo Chavez." For those aware of the many ways the US has attacked Latin America in the past decades, John Edwards' comments go beyond offensive and land in the area of criminal.

While Chris Dodd obsessed over "losing a public relations battle" to Chavez, it was left to Mike Gravel to speak the truth.

Moderator: Senator Gravel, the same question. Do you consider Hugo Chavez a dictator? Would you break relations with him?

Mike Gravel: No, not at all. In fact, I would reach out to him. Do we forget that on a weekend our CIA tried to depose him? Do we forget that? And of course -- so, is he an enemy? No, he's not an enemy. We've created him as an enemy. We're doing the same thing with Iran. What's the difference if Chavez deals with Iran? We hope that a lot of countries begin to interchange their leadership and begin to think about the globe as one entity. There's nothing wrong. The same thing with Fidel Castro. Why can't we recognize Cuba? Why -- what's the big deal, after 25 year that these people 125 miles from this country are discriminated against? It makes no sense at all. We need to open up our arms to all nations and treat them as friends, not start looking for enemies.

Oh, yeah. The 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez, backed by the US. Funded by the US. So Chavez has many valid reasons to speak out against the current administration. John Edwards and Chris Dodd were in the Senate at the time of that coup. They had nothing to say to defend a democratically leader. But today they want to play dumb and pretend that didn't happen. When even The New York Times had to shine a little light of reality on the issue of the coup -- just a little. And yet Chris Dodd and John Edwards want to play dumb while 'entertaining' with an update to the George Jones and Tammy Wynette classic "(We're Not) The Jet Set" whose lyrics now begin with Dodd and Edwards declaring, "No, we're not the peace set."

Among the many calling for the head of the 'dangerous' (e.g. democratically elected Chavez) are alleged progressive and alleged journalist David Sirota as well as Joe Lieberman's right testicle Simon Rosenberg and, of course, the supreme War Monger, Pat Robertson who endorsed the murder of Chavez in 2005 (apparently the Lord Jesus whispered in Pat's ear that The Ten Commandments were actually Ten Recommendations). As Barbara Reynolds (The Chicago Defender) wondered in 2005, "What has Chavez done to the United States that the United States should murder him? In the Bushwhack way of thinking, Chavez has committed two crimes worthy of capital punishment. He is not White and he is head of a country that has lots of oil: The Bush crowd has proven that those two ingredients are a prescription for destruction."

For those new to the realities Edwards and Dodd worked so hard to disguise, here's a quote from Chavez about the US administration:

They protect him (Luis Posada Carriles) and besides allege, in a cynical way, that they're protecting him against Venezuela because Venezuela is going to torture him. That's to say, the government of the United States is protecting the number one torturer in the history of Latin America, the Bin Laden of Latin America. It's a cynical and sham government, whose mask falls more everyday and it's left in front of the world with its Dracula molars full of blood.

For those in search of reality, Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez and Margaret Prescod interviewed Hugo Chavez in 2005 and you can listen, watch or read the two part interview by clicking here and here.
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