Pat Robertson (again)

Got CNN on in the background. Didn’t get all of the details, but Robertson was complaining about a South American dictator. He claimed that this dictator sent Osama bin Laden $2 million (I think) after the WTC attacks. Wolf Blitzer asked him where the dictator got the money. Robertson said, ‘Well, that’s what I was told.’ Yeah, ‘that’s what I was told’ is perfectly good evidence for suggesting someone be killed. :rolleyes:

You know, DNFTT works in real life too.

That would be Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. A waste of space, but not as big a loon as Robertson.

Well, things have certainly got to a pretty place! Used to be, the words “South American dicator” indicated a reliable bulwark of US policy, someone who could be trusted. Nowadays, seems like we’ll let just about anybody run one of our South American countries!

Uguarte, Pinochet, Batista, Trujillo…good times, good times.

What’s ironic is that one dictator who actually has been credibly accused of helping al-Qaeda, through money-laundering schemes involving illegal “conflict diamonds” and other things, is none other than Robertson’s “Christian, Baptist” buddy and business partner, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor.

And what on earth is this Chavez obsession of Robertson’s, anyway? Chavez may have a lot of popular support and may have launched some policies that help the Venezuelan poor, but he’s still a pretty scary autocrat with apparently little regard for civil freedoms or human rights. Why is Robertson whipping up support for him with outrageous calls to kill him and unsupported accusations of terrorist involvement?

Maybe Chavez is secrety funding Teletubbies.

Okay, that does it, Chavez needs to die.

I believe Hugo Chavez is the democratically elected president of Peru. (He’s a dictator only in Pat Robertson’s warped mind.) So perhaps American’s record of supporting SA dictators is intact.

If by Peru, you mean Venezuela…

I think Pat is just projecting too much:

It was pointed then that a big chunck of that money from gold and diamonds benefited Al Qaeda:

IIRC Chavez pointed out that Pat Robertson is a terrorist. I am beginning to wonder if he is correct.

We begin bombing in five minutes…

Correct. He is only a dictator as far as the corrupt elite he has been infringing on is concerned. Yes, Venezuela, and not Peru, but he is by no means a dictator.

Not quite: he’s also been pulling some pretty dictatorial stuff in terms of human rights violations and interference with the judiciary and the press. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have a lot of complaints about his government.

Yes, he does have a lot of popular support, and he’s not in power illegitimately, but he is definitely exhibiting a lot of dictator-like behavior in governing. I think a lot of his more vehement critics are slimeballs themselves, and Pat Robertson is top of that list, but Chavez is no poster boy for democracy.

Are you sure you mean Chavez and not some other democrtically president of an American country?

Heh heh. No, I meant Chavez:

Of course. Mr. Finn simply made the wrong turn at Colombia; it could happen to anybody! :cool:

Heck, even I don’t like Chavez too much. However, I did take a look at the opposition newspapers and media (the majority of them in control of the well to do) during and after the last coup d’tat against Chavez, the mainstream press in Venezuela said:

[in memory of Don Adams]
Would you believe the coup d’tat was a democratic movement?!?!?


Sorry, days after the coup there was only one dissenting point of view published, and it was from someone opposed to Chavez saying something like “maybe a coup is not a democratic movement”…

After the confirmed lies the opposition said after the last referendum they lost, I have to take anything they say with a monumental grain of salt.

Oh sure, I wouldn’t ask anybody to renounce Chavez based on what the anti-chavista Venezuelan opposition says. But what I quoted was not from the Venezuelan opposition, but from a writer on South America for a reputable US publication. By the way, the second half of that article is now out in a recent issue (link sometimes subscriber-only).

But those are books and book reviews, might as well then accept the views of Ann Coulter since she also published books that are well reviewed.

Anyhow, I also remember the shameful actions the US press did before, during and after the coup:

Huh? Did you actually read the articles I linked to? They are research articles by a respected South America scholar specialist that discuss recently published books on Venezuela and Chavez, not just book summaries by some hack reviewer unfamiliar with the subject.

In particular, the second article (here’s a better link to the full text of it) discusses Guillermoprieto’s own research in Venezuela:

Clearly, these articles are not the sentiments of somebody who’s just parroting the bitter (and often racist) slanders of the anti-Chavez Venezuelan opposition. Rather, they expose valid reasons to be concerned about the Chavez regime, despite the unquestioned improvements it’s making in the lives of many poor Venezuelans, and not to dismiss all criticism of it as mere anti-Chavez raving.

And do you mind explaining what earthly reason there could be for treating the articles of someone like Alma Guillermoprieto on a par with those of someone like Ann Coulter? Do you really not see any difference between a respected, thoughtful researcher with substantial knowledge of her field and a partisan hack whose extremist and exaggerated assertions have been widely discredited?

You started out reasonably enough a couple posts ago, acknowledging that Chavez is far from perfect but pointing out that the anti-chavista Venezuelan opposition has largely been completely untrustworthy, and that their claims should not be accepted on faith.

I agreed with you, but noted that the article(s) I was citing were not expressing the views of the Venezuelan opposition. (And the publication where they appeared, btw, is not part of the US “mainstream media” that parrotted opposition propaganda during the coup attempt.) In fact, the author severely criticizes the opposition, and praises Chavez’ accomplishments for the poor, at the same time that she critiques the genuinely worrying antidemocratic tendencies of his regime.

Subsequently, you apparently had a neural misfire that caused you to suggest that something published in the NYRB is unreliable because it’s a US publication, and that Guillermoprieto’s writings needn’t be taken seriously because she’s no better than Ann Coulter.

I trust that this condition is merely temporary and that you’ll be feeling better soon.

Sorry, but there was a lot that is being ignored by that author, and that IMHO is not good. I also remember many so called respected independent people that appeared after, with criticisms to Chavez, and more than once I caught them with lies. There was a very short thread recently that explains what I mean: (the OP did go MIA after one reply):

And I have seen before many views that were not from the Venezuelan opposition also supporting the points of the opposition, nothing new.

I would worry only if Chavez had closed the opposition Newspapers, again, I did read the press of the opposition, for less than what the newspapers said about Chavez -calls to disobedience and outright support for a coup- even in the USA charges or removal of licenses to the airways would be expected. Chavez allowed and still allows that (by contrast, Castro changed content in the press and then censored the press), and in my book that throws some of what this author is saying into the suspect pile.

I grant you that was an exaggeration, but I did not exaggerate in the fact that many reviews were good for her books (of course, I dismiss those reviews as propaganda)

I see, so only a sick person can see the evidence and then based on that, distrust even a serious researcher…

Sorry, even a serious researcher misses a lot. During the coup, supporters of Chavez were being rounded up (the majority of the government BTW) and some began to appear dead, but then the coup fizzled. I can not let out the fact that the opposition was working to make someone like Pinochet look like a kindergarten cop. At least I grant you that this researcher is fairer than most, but even if I don’t like Chavez much, I hate incomplete reports even more.