Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Assassins for God

Radical Christianist cleric Pat Robertson, on August 22, issued a fatwa against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling upon American "covert operatives" to "take him out."

"And I don't think any oil shipments will stop," Robertson added, indicating the main interest that the United States has in Venezuela.

Nevermind, of course, that President Chavez is the duly elected leader of a sovereign nation. During the recall, international observers judged that the election was fair (which was more than happened in recent U.S. elections!).

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. " Because, clearly, that is the role the of the United States in the world: to start wars to get rid of dictators in oil-rich countries. According to Rev. Robertson, at least.

Someone should get this man a Bible! :-)

And--dictator? Um. Well, besides that fact that the U.S. props up and supports dictators all over the world (including people like our previous buddies Saddam Hussein and the Taliban!), a fact about which Mr. Robertson is apparently indifferent, Hugo Chavez is the elected president of a country.

But, heck, let's send some people over there to take him out. It's all just a game, anyway, isn't it? Whoever gets control of the most oil wins!

Problem is, of course, that they lose in the end.

It's kind of fitting that on the list of books the President is "reading" on his vacation there's that book on the world history of salt. It kind of fits. Like oil, salt was a necessary commodity that wars were fought over and people died for. Now we kind of laugh at the idea of salt wars. Let's take a lesson from history here, Mr. President.


Anonymous said...

For the record, he has apologized for the comment saying it was not right of him to call for an assassination. Next I think you grossly exaggerated to make a point with the whole radical cleric/fatwa thing because Robertson didn't say this because God told to and if you want to be literal he is not interpreting Islamic law. You can say he is a radical cleric all you want, but there are no Christians that will follow what he says and go and kill people. Then the comment on the US election was kinda old considering no one could actually find anything to point to the 2004 election being unfair, even though the Democrats tried. As to Robertson calling him a dictator, being an elected leader of a country hasn't stopped the left from calling Bush a dictator.


Jennifer said...

Yes, he did apologize, but only after first saying, in a very Bill O'Reilly-esque comment, that he actually NEVER said or implied that we should assassinate Chavez. Of course, having audio, video, and transcripts to prove him wrong, he went back on that (which is more than one can usually say for Bill O'Reilly :-) alas.)

Anyway, you're right that Pat Robertson did not issue a fatwa. I was making the point that we often portray Islamic leaders as scary and radical (and sometimes they are) but we very rarely view our own homegrown people like that. I was putting it in a different perspective (and a perspective that perhaps the rest of the world is more used to than we are when it comes to viewing our own religious/political leaders).

His view of the world, that America has the total right to run things to its satisfaction, even to the point of "taking out" those it doesn't agree with, is the point of view that the rest of the world sees when it looks at our actions around the world. Our media, of course, carefully shields us from this perspective though. Watch the BBC or Al-Jezeera or even CNN International sometime. Or read international blogs or newspapers. Not saying you personally don't, but in general that's very good advice. Our media is somewhat myopic and not reliable when trying to get a perspective on how we are percieved in the world.

So, I wasn't actually saying Robertson was using Islamic law. I was making a broader point about American perspectives vs. world perspectives. I admit that I didn't do it very well!

What I meant about the U.S. elections was that we wouldn't let foreign inspectors in (unlike Venezuela). But, certainly, there have been demonstrations of problems in the 2004 elections, and thanks for reminding me of that! Post is forthcoming (think next weekend).

And, enh. I wouldn't call Bush a dictator. He himself has said it would be "easier" (JOKE! I know! :-)) to be a dictator, but I haven't heard him called that. I just think he's an awful President.