Delays, delays, delays...too much to do and too little time in which to do it. That's my apology for not stopping in here sooner. It's been quite a busy week, so I'll simply return to that for which this space is known.
Fresh off the Terri Schiavo debacle, the Christian Coalition -- that is, a collection of politicians, broadcasters, and private individuals who believe the Bible, not the Constitution, should be the moral and political pilot of this nation -- needed somewhere to channel their angst, morality and superior knowledge about what He wants.
They got what they wanted in the voice of Pat Robertson.
Yesterday, in response to (Venezuelan president) Hugo Chavez's acerbic criticism of the United States (addressed by The House of Boogie here), and not to be outdone, Pat Robertson sounded off on the topic.
Mr. Robinson opined that "If [Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." He continued: [Chavez] is "a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
Not unexpectedly, Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel accused Robertson of "making terrorist statements...The ball is in the U.S. court after this criminal statement by a citizen of that country," AP quoted Rangel as saying. "It's huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism and at the same time, in the heart of that country, there are entirely terrorist statements like those."
This saga, and the facts revolving around same, continue on, almost endlessly.
What is interesting, perhaps, is that Mr. Robertson, who has a history of making some incredibly stupid, public remarks (his comments on activist judges being more dangerous to the US than terrorists ranks among his more notable, and more moronic, commentaries). In this case, however, I happen to agree with him.
Should the US deem it appropriate to take action against Chavez, I would prefer they do so covertly -- with as little risk and publicity as possible -- to avoid the kind of long, drawn-out conflict that brings with it casualties, cricitism and a loss of purpose that is a hallmark of the American conflicts in Vietnam and, to a lesser degree, Iraq. Perhaps the Seals could make an impression on Mr. Chavez much like the Corleone Family did on studio head Jack Woltz -- and even if Mr. Chavez isn't a fan of prized racehorses, I am sure there is some way to convince him to find other topics about which to complain than the United States. And it wouldn't even necessarily cost the price of a bullet.
Despite both Ford's and Reagan's executive orders banning political assassinations, it's fairly clear that anything can be accomplished if the right people put their minds to same (two words: Iran Contra). The fact is that Chavez is probably too insignificant a threat to be considered a US target (except by Chavez himself). But the fact that this topic is on the table -- as is the production and supply of Venezuelan oil bound for the US -- only adds to the intrigue.
In either case, as they ably demonstrated in the Terri Schiavo matter, the Christian Coalition has managed, yet again, to usurp intellectual discourse and common sense and, in its place, purvey an arrogance, a stupidity and a foolish propensity to indiscretion. Whether or not Robertson is right or wrong -- and I agree that Chavez's term ought to be "limited" -- the lack of thought prior to these types of comments is somewhat disturbing.
Though it is entertaining.