Tuesday, August 23, 2005

We Have Found The Witch! May We Burn Him?

Remarks made by Pat Robertson on the 700 Club do not qualify as news, in my opinion. I don't expect anyone to go out and take matters into their own hands based on a seemingly wacky comment by a "religious leader" on a Christian information show Yet there it is, all over the news services, and making waves internationally:

Conservative U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying the leftist leader wanted to turn his country into "the launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

The founder of the Christian Coalition said during the Monday night television broadcast of his religious program, "The 700 Club," that Chavez, one the most vocal critics of President George W. Bush, was a "terrific danger" to the United States.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said.

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

This is the sort of thing that a guy might say to his friends down at the local bar, or to his neighbors while standing outside, or to co-workers in the cafeteria at work, or wherever. The difference here is that Pat Robertson said it on television. Notice that Reuters identifies Robertson at the start as a "Conservative US evangelist". This implies that he has stronger ties with conservatism and with the US government than he ever could have. But he has no more bearing on US policy than the guy at the bar:

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned Robertson's comments as "inappropriate" and said they were from a private citizen and did not represent the U.S. government position.
"Inappropriate" is one of those overused politically correct words that I have come to loathe. The rest of the spokesman's statement was quite sufficient, but he had to throw in "inappropriate" to appease those who might be offended. Was he worried about offending this guy?

In Caracas, Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said: "This is a huge hypocrisy to maintain an anti-terrorist line and at the same time have such terrorist statements as these made by Christian preacher Pat Robertson coming from the same country."

"The ball is in the U.S. court now," Rangel told reporters.

"Rangel's head is up his rear end now," the blogger told his readers. A terrorist goes out and kills people, or he encourages others to do so, in the name of whatever cause they support. They don't sit around saying telling one another that the government should do something. Pat Robertson, and our hypothetical friend at the local bar, are just mouthing off. That is not terrorism. Or should everyone who makes controversial comments like Robertson's be arrested and jailed for terrorists? Jesse Ventura Rangel seems to think so. Lock 'em all up! That's what we'd do in Venezuela.

Pat Robertson does not dictate US policy on political assassinations or anything else. Neither do I, for that matter. But I don't look forward to my next visit to the gas station. The prices are twenty cents higher than they were the last time I filled up just a few days ago. If we had gone to war for oil, we might be paying about ten cents per gallon at the pump. Venezuela has oil! How about if we not only assassinate Chavez (and Rangel), but we also invade the country and colonize it for the rich oil reserves? It's about time we had an actual war for oil like the left has been moaning about, all evidence to the contrary. Well, Mr. State Department Spokesman, are you going to condemn me? I thought not.