Thursday, September 21, 2006

The hinged and the unhinged on Chavez

In case you haven't been paying attention, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez took to the floor of the UN General Assembly Wednesday to rant about Bush being the devil, American exploitation, pillaging, hegemony and the like. (Video is here.)
  • The best comment on the speech:
    "Wow. With one speech, eagerly applauded, Hugo Chavez did more today to show what’s wrong with the United Nations than some of us have managed in years of gumshoe reporting." - Claudia Rosett (the journalist who did as much as anyone to expose the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal)
  • And a somewhat different perspective from the Left:
    "While the oil companies rake in obscene profits by the hour from the high price of oil, Chavez, who is in town this week for the UN General Assembly, keeps devising new schemes to use Venezuela's oil bonanza to benefit the needy around the world." - NY Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez
    [Gonzalez would do well to read Thor Halvorssen or Betsy Newmark, who have a somewhat different take on Chavez: "a tyrant who is repressing dissent at home and well on the way to ruining his own country's economy despite their oil wealth."]
Speaking of the Left, some of Chavez's Bush equals devil language sounded a lot like Angry Left reasoning. I decided to check out the Democratic Underground coverage of the address. I was shocked--shocked!--to find quite of bit of sympathy for Chavez's sentiments among many of the DU commenters. A sampling:
35: "Beautiful. Not a word out of place. No matter who it offends."

36. "This is the REAL DEAL! Who can deny it?"

41. "All I can say is WOW! Wonderful speech. He is so on target on all the issues."

52: "I wish Hugo were my president!"

53: "Chavez speaks for me. Seems like you have to be someone outside of U.S. politics to speak the truth anymore. This guy tells it like it is."

71: "Chavez speaks the Truth."

73: "You know what - Hugo Chavez had the cajones to say exactly what the rest of the world thinks of Bush. Okay, so it may have not been the most diplomatically presented speech, but I bet there isn't anyone, not even the people who may have criticized Hugo, who doesn't agree with his statement today, even if its silently."
At least one had a sense of humor:
26: "Whatever happened to the Great Satan? Can't we get a little more respect than 'the devil'?"