Monday, September 25, 2006

BESIDES, ANYTHING THAT GETS PEOPLE INTERESTED IN READING AGAIN HAS GOT TO BE GOOD. I just read the transcript of the Chavez U.N. speech. Why is everyone so bent out of shape about it? Chavez has been widely slurred as a madman, but compared to, for example, the average Ralph Peters column, Chavez's speech was a model of sweet reason.

Chavez' job was to represent his country's interests, and he did so capably. (I'm too much of a cynic to expect any traction for his utopian schemes, but you can't fault the guy for trying.) It is quite natural that Chavez would wish to "re-establish" the United Nations on a basis more favorable to Venezuela. And it is the opposite of crazy to be mistrustful toward the superpower responsible for so much mischief in his region. It may have been impolitic of Chavez to publicly express that lack of trust, though I suspect that Chavez' target audience enjoys that sort of thing at least as much as our local fist-shakers and finger-waggers despise it.

Which, come to think of it, may be what's got those fist-shakers and finger-waggers so upset. Chavez' talk of "dawn breaking out all over" is certainly over-optimistic, but there are a lot of countries out there with whom he can make common cause, since the United States has been, through the fecklessness of its current Administration, pissing off the world.

The recent blog-world revival of the term "Anglosphere" is mainly due to the fact that Australia and Great Britain are about the only significant allies that we have left -- or, rather, the only ones our right-wingers feel comfortable around (as exemplified by this Wizbang post, which uses the phrase "The White Man's Burden" without apparent irony).

Other forces looking for diplomatic and economic hookups will naturally see great opportunity in our trail of broken hearts. Fortunately, the "Axis of Evil" has been very bad at taking advantage, but we know (despite this Administration's continual insistence) that the world community is not divided between Good and Evil, but into constituencies of mutual interest. If Europe can Unionize, why can't Latin America communalize?

This state of affairs is certainly much more dangerous to our country than a few insults from Hugo Chavez, and it is also dangerous for our political class to acknowledge, so they firehose abuse at him, in hopes its force will push back any questions and misgivings that may be drifting in their direction.

UPDATE. Previously eaten post restored. Thanks, Matty!

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