We haven’t commented on Hugo Chavez’s bizarre speech in the United Nations yesterday. It’s a target-rich topic; my favorite moment was the dictator’s brandishing a Noam Chomsky tome. In an interview, Chavez said that he regretted not having met Chomsky before he died. It will be interesting to see whether Chomsky, who is still very much alive, contacts Chavez to arrange a mutual-admiration meeting.
Today, Chavez continued his PR tour, insulting President Bush as he walked through Harlem:
Speaking while walking in a Harlem street, Chavez told a group of passers-by: “Bush is an alcoholic, a sick man with a lot of hang-ups.”
“He walks like John Wayne,” declared the left-wing Venezuelan leader. “He doesn’t know anything about politics, he got there because of Daddy.”
Do they get the Daily Kos in Venezuela?
Earlier today, the Academic Elephant wrote on RedState about the alliance between Chavez and the Islamic terrorists:
Mr. Chavez today used the bully pulpit of the United Nations General Assembly to publicly embrace the terrorist forces of the Middle East, to claim common cause with them, and to suggest that they have a legitimate grievance against an intolerable aggressor. In this context, Mr. Chavez’ apparently nutty remarks about the 9/11 attacks make perfect sense. He is rallying the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas, and offering them justification, protection and support in the western hemisphere. More overtly and blatantly than any other world leader, he is hanging out his shingle as a state sponsor of terrorism. There have been rumors swirling recently of Islamic extremists finding haven in Venezuela. Mr. Chavez confirmed them today. Come to Venezuela, he might have well said. We can help you out. And look how much closer you’ll be to Miami. Or to Washington and New York, for that matter.
The terrorists seem to appreciate the invitation; the photo below, which depicts Chavez with Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, hangs from a bridge in Beirut:
There is nothing surprising, of course, about the secular socialist from Venezuela making common cause with religious fanatics from halfway around the world. Tyrants have always worked together when it suits their purposes; they always understand one another, since they are more or less alike.
The Democrats had a little harder time than the terrorists deciding what to make of Chavez. His weird tirade split their caucus. Some Democrats, like Charles Rangel and Nancy Pelosi, denounced the dictator. Senator Tom Harkin, on the other hand, supported Chavez:
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat, today defended Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s United Nations speech in which Chavez called President George Bush the devil. Harkin said the comments were “incendiary”, then went on to say, “Let me put it this way, I can understand the frustration, ah, and the anger of certain people around the world because of George Bush’s policies.” Harkin continued what has been frequent criticism of the president’s foreign policy.
One might have hoped that Hugo Chavez would be too visibly nuts to be embraced by even the most liberal of Democrats. Apparently not.