Sunday, June 11, 2006

[Bush, Foreign Policy]

American Toxicity.

In little-noticed (or reported) news last week, Venezuela began preparations for a US invasion:
In a bid to repel an invasion by the United States, Venezuela is conducting a series of war games.

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, a constant and outspoken critic of the United States, and more importantly, his American counterpart, George Bush, is enlisting the help of local civilians to fight off "foreign aggressors" along the coast.
For Chavez, this is easy math. Although he knows the US has no interest or motivation to invade Venezuela, such a claim made in the Bush era is no longer preposterous. He may rattle sabers with little real threat and great political advantage. Bush hasn't been coy with his displeasure over Chavez, and so his threats and bullying can now be used as political tools by Chavez to bolster his standing at home. (Chavez's reaction to Bush's bellicosity is an ironic mirror of the Rove approach to demonization.)

Bush's Folly in Baghdad has made America toxic to foreign leaders (see Aznar, Berlusconi, and Blair), and a great asset to those who oppose him. We now have pull exactly where we don't want it, and in ways we find it--in places like Iran, where Bush's asinine cowboy act has led to greater control by a US-demonizing radical. Yet in places like Russia, where the US would like to foster greater democratic freedom, American toxicity has removed hope of our influence, even as Pooty Poot guides the country back toward autocracy.

NPR reports that the House, creepily, wants to capitalize on the assassination of Zarqawi last week by condemning Democratic war critics. The White House and national GOP have made a career (literally) out of bullying the rest of the world, and it appears they have noticed none of the results.

Hey, wait a second--maybe Chavez isn't just playing politics with the Bush administration. Anyway, hard to blame him if he is.

1 comment:

eRobin said...

(Chavez's reaction to Bush's bellicosity is an ironic mirror of the Rove approach to demonization.)

Good point. Chavez is using BushCo's strength against him.

Have you watched Rob Newman's History of Oil? He does a funny bit that includes Venezuela.