Feb 3, 2006

Rumsfeld Compares Chavez With Hitler

Share
Left: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, courtesy of janmarij nissen.nl

(Washington, DC) The negative rhetoric emanating from Bush administration officials toward South American governments continues to grow, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the newest official to take shots.

"I mean, we've got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money," he said. "He's a person who was elected legally - just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally - and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others."

Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel blasted Rumsfeld's comments.

"The unacceptable comparison of President Chavez with Hitler is a concrete indication of the desperation that reigns at this moment in the governing circles of Washington," said Rangel. "If anybody, any political leader, any head of state, can be compared to Hitler; that is President Bush. He has stepped on countries, slaughtered peoples, and installed prisons around the world."

Rumsfeld joins Senator John McCain as the latest US official to engage in a war of words with the Venezuelans. With as much difficulty as the US has in generating international goodwill, the last thing Rumsfeld should be doing is angering the leaders of an entire continent.

The election of Evo Morales in Bolivia brings the list of the leftist leaders in the continent to five; he joined Venezuela's Chavez, Argentina's Nelson Kirchner, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez. Another left-leaning candidate, Ollanta Humala, could win the election next month in Peru election.

More ominous for the US is the fact that democratic elections produced these leaders. There seems to be a continent-wide movement to reject the free market rhetoric of the US and the IMF in favor of more socialist-oriented governments.

Efforts by the American operatives to undermine these South American governments are seen as evidence that the United States is not serious in the platitudes of freedom and democracy it has been preaching. Whether we like the left-leaning policies of people like Chavez and Morales, they have been elected by a majority of the electorate of their respective nations.

Perhaps we would be better served by improving the relations with our hemispheric neighbors, rather than drive them away from us.

19 comments:

liberal_dem said...

Rumsfeld has been showing signs of senility for some time now, but surely,Donald, it's time for the home.

He, Bush, Cheney and Rice are such has-beens, such exposed dolts, that all they are left with is name-calling.

Lisa Renee said...

Obviously Rumsfeld has no experience with usenet or he would realize mentioning Hitler he lost the debate as an automatic.

However, it's obvious this administration does excell at one thing....Rhetoric....

:-)

historymike said...

I just hope the rhetoric doesn't piss off a whole continent. We have enough difficulty winning friends these days.

Anonymous said...

Why do these banana republics keep electing these blowhards and buffoons?

Can you see industry saying, "please, let us locate factories and employ people in your socialist paradise"?

They will redistribute what little wealth exists in these countries, taking a healthy sum off the top for themselves and their cronies, kill those who oppose them, and eventually be deposed in a military junta which will bring leadership worse than what they had before.

liberal_dem said...

Why do these banana republics keep electing these blowhards and buffoons?

I didn't know we grew bananas.

Jason Sonenshein said...

The election of Evo Morales in Bolivia brings the list of the leftist leaders in the continent to five; he joined Venezuela's Chavez, Argentina's Nelson Kirchner, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez. Another left-leaning candidate, Ollanta Humala, could win the election next month in Peru election.

Don't forget President-Elect Michelle Bachelet of Chile.

historymike said...

(laughing at liberal dem)

The term "banana republic" is pretty ignorant, anonymous, considering the wide diversity of economic activity in Central and South America.

Better question: why are US leaders so hell-bent on attacking leftist governments in Central and South America, when there are equally socialist governments in places like Sweden, Canada, and India?

And, as far as "little wealth," need I remind you that Venezuela controls one of the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere?

Might I also suggest that perhaps the aim of the administration is not to promote free market philosophies so much as it is to control Venezuelan oil reserves?

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with controlling the Venezuelan oil reserves. We need them.

Our little cousins to the north just took a turn for the right in electing a Conservative government. While more liberal than ours, Canada is hardly socialistic.

The others you mentioned are in another hemisphere.

We have always strived to control what we can in this hemisphere. There's nothing wrong with that. It is important to our security and, whether it be by hook or crook, we should continue to increase that control.

MeMyselfandI

White Mormon Patriot said...

MeMyselfandI wrote: "Nothing wrong with controlling the Venezuelan oil reserves. We need them."
=================================
This is precisely the type of thinking which stirs up hostility against us and inhibits other nations from working with us more actively in the War Against Terror.

Just because we "need" the Venezuelan oil reserves doesn't give us the right to "steal" them from Venezuela. We get them the honorable way - through trade. Hugo Chavez' first responsibility is to the Venezuelan people, not to the White House.

President Chavez has repeatedly indicated his willingness to have a normal relationship with the U.S., but on equitable terms. He is not willing for Venezuela to be an American corporate subsidiary. Besides, if we need oil that bad, there's always ANWR.

liberal_dem said...

Nothing wrong with controlling the Venezuelan oil reserves. We need them.

'We?' Well, you do, MMI, as you already confessed in Toledo Talk drive a gas-guzzling, big-ass SUV.

Ah, the politics of bananas, or sugar, or pineapple, or oil. Same scenario, different products, same results. The infamous US Corporate monster feeding on peasants, decimating their lands, and using the military to enforce their ends.

The two links below will shine a little light on the situation:

http://www.mayaparadise.com/ufc1e.htm

http://www.feri.com/lurkingbear/Political/bananas.html

Then there is oil.

Poor George, all he wanted was a little oil war but look at what a mess he created! Poor fellow, not much seems to work out for the lad.

Now, the other 'axis of evil' terrorist, Iran, is holding George by the nuggies and plans to squeeze them if George tries to get tough.

Just imagine if George again puts on his jump suit ans struts on the deck of another aircraft carrier! Iran would turn the oil valves off and our stock market would plunge until it is electronicaly shut down.

Bananas we can live without.

M A F said...

Anon apparently missed the history lesson on US intervention in Central and South America. The US has always had a preference for military dictatorships and has funded a few military coup d'etat.

Besides, the socialist government economy of Chavez is out pacing that of the US, this despite Bush's tax cuts.

Of course, Rumsfeld's comments are not suprising. He has referred to Hussein, Amandejhad, Chavez and Castro as Hitler, if I am not mistaken. Besides, he is now of the belief that WMD will be found in Iraq.

As it pertains to Canada Anon, much to your chagrin, the "conservative" government of Canada came to be not because the people support the Conservative Party. But because they wanted to send a message to the Liberal Party.

Oh yes, and just for the record, the Canadians are closer to a socialist country than you are want to admit. Then again so is the US.

Anonymous said...

I subscribe to the Lyndon Johnson school of thought on foreign affairs:

"He may be a son of a bitch, but he's OUR son of a bitch."

Sure, we've sponsored some ugliness in Central and South America. I don't care. Cheap sugar, cheap bananas, cheap coffee, and cheap oil for the U.S. is the bottom line.

You can't sing kum-ba-yah in foreign affairs. Jimmy Carter tried and set back the Cold War almost a decade.

As long as the gas flows out of the pump when I fill my 30 gallon tank, I don't care where it came from.

and liberal dem, before you call Bush and company "has-beens", keep in mind you and your ilk "ain't been" since the 1960s because your ideology has been discredited.

historymike said...

Anonymous:

It's more important, then, for the US to have cheap products than it is for South Americans to have the right of self-determination?

Sounds pretty selfish to me.

liberal_dem said...

and liberal dem, before you call Bush and company "has-beens", keep in mind you and your ilk "ain't been" since the 1960s because your ideology has been discredited.

'Ilk' is such a right-wing piece of nausea, but then, what can you expect from your ilk?

'Has-beens?' Checked the polls lately?

M A F said...

Ah, nothing like a little solipsism with your jingoism in the afternoon.

Yet another one of those "compasionate" American's Bush mentioned in the SOTU.

Anonymous said...

Ilk is the right word.

Maybe people are down on Republicans now, but we and our ilk have won every election in the last decade. We have the presidency, we have Congress, and we might have the Supreme Court.

The U.S. government does not have a responsibility to the rest of the world. They do have a responsibility to us. If destabilizing a banana republic through surrepititious means will improve our quality of life, so be it.

Anonymous said...

'Has-beens?' Checked the polls lately?

Yes, "has-beens."

Checked the election results lately?

liberal_dem said...

our ilk have won every election in the last decade.

Well, in the last half-decade at least. Don't let hyperboyle get in your way.



We have the presidency, we have Congress, and we might have the Supreme Court.

Oh, yes, indeed 'you' do! Which sums up the sad state of affairs in this nation.

By the way, about 'having' the Supreme Court...checked the Constitution lately?

Anonymous said...

Well, there was that 1996 election that Clinton won. But Republicans held on to Congress.

Besides, I would not call Bill Clinton a liberal.

Like-minded people (people with minds like mine) presumably occupy a majority of the seats on the Supreme Court. Just think if GHWB had done his homework. We'd have a solid majority.

We'll keep congress in the 2006 elections too and John McCain will win the White House in 2008 and as much as Democrats love him, he is still a Republican, supportive of tax cuts and supportive of the war in Iraq.

Democrats will win again someday. But I don't see that day coming soon.