Friday, January 05, 2007

Chavez, Saddam and their enablers

The shrinking thinking minority of Venezuela has watched stunned as allegedly 63% of the country voted to trust everything to a single man. In exchange they think, because it is still mostly a hope, that he will provide for their needs.

To add insult to intellectual injury, Datanalisis has published a series of articles through El Nacional where an extensive poll examines the current motivations of Venezuelans. The portrait that we get from the country is not flattering as a large majority confirms that indeed, who cares about democracy as long as handouts, beer and sex keep coming. I do not know whether I will have time to go into these interesting results, but Milagros Socorro had no problem disposing of them in a scintillating article. In this mediation on power and those who enable the tyrants that keep besotting humanity, she makes no bones about the enablers that allow such horrors to strike.

What is even more remarkable is that her Op-Ed piece was published the day that Jorge Rodriguez was named vice president. If there is an enabler for the autocratic power that Chavez is building it is Jorge Rodriguez. The alleged impartial Electoral Board chief has shown himself to so impartial, so fair to both sides that he got named to the post most crucial to Chavez, the post perhaps where Chavez needs the most trusted advisor, the vice presidency, where intense devotion is a must. Amazingly some people do think that there is nothing odd about such an appointment.

To give you a sense of perspective, imagine that Justice Scalia had been named secretary of State of the US after he threw the 2000 election for Bush. Well, Rodriguez going to the Vice Presidency is much, much worse than that. Him accepting this post establishes beyond any single doubt that he had been placed at the CNE to work for Chavez, to screw the opposition. There is no doubt that Rodriguez will keep working hard, much harder than Rangel for that matter, at destroying whatever opposes Chavez. Destroying not being too strong a word. The mission of Rodriguez is to press the trigger of any gun that needs to be shot, figuratively or in real life. Rodriguez is the ultimate enabler. You may want to also keep this in mind as you read the translated article below.

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All against the Monster
Milagros Socorro, El Nacional 01/04/2007
(original in Spanish here, highly recommended if you read Spanish)

If Saddam Hussein had been acquitted of the slaughter of 149 Shiites of the locality of Dujail, perpetrated in 1982, the knot of the rope would have fit its neck contour for the crimes and abuses of power such as the genocide that happened between 1986 and 1988, when 182,000 civilians Kurd died in massive displacements, executions and massacres of the campaign of Al Anfal, ordered by Hussein.

Associated to all the conspiracies before reaching power, Saddam Hussein also was imputable of crimes against the humanity by the war against Iran, that swallowed the life of a million beings, harvested in both sides, between 1980 and 1988.

He was accused of ordering the execution of more than 8,000 Kurds of the Barzani tribe in 1983; of inducing the bombing of chemical agents, scattered by Iraqian aviation on the locality of Halaba, to the northeast of Iraq, where 5,000 people died in the greater attack with gas against civilians of that country; of invading Kuwait and occupying it for seven months in 1990; for annihilating tens of thousand of soldiers and Shiite civilians, in 1991, when they revolted against the regime after the failure of the confrontation against Kuwait; for arresting and executing tens of Shiite leaders, between 1974 and 1999; for organizing parallel armies, networks of denunciation, apparatuses of torture and, in sum, for governing during 24 years based on terror.

INDEED, WE ARE SPEAKING OF A MONSTER. But that terrible creature, who in addition impoverished to his country and left it ruined and divided, never acted in alone. Alone he arrived at the gallows , insulted by its executioners, that in that terrible hour did not save on ridicule and taunting, but his walk until the wooden hatch which collapse would allow his last fall and the consequent break of his neck, was allowed by many factors of power that stayed out to stop his run and, on the contrary, became enablers of his excesses.

If the capital punishment were a remedy to eliminate the genocides and the dictators, the crunching of the vertebrae would have to resonate in the world like a lightning that cleaved the whole atmosphere, because crimes of those dimensions cannot be committed by the single perversity of a man. All the crimes which are credited to Hussein, which were many and which in these lines are barely outlined, were carried out because a part of the society made it possible - that part that was not a direct victim of his cruelty and his abuses- because the army followed him in his outrages, because the international community turned a blind eye, because always there was some sector benefited by his initiatives and blinded to his implacable conduct.

Now the same society that applauded his cult of personality, that raised to placards with his face and statues with his likeliness, that cheered his public appearances in which it shot to firearms and showed a faced deformed by his more than self assurance and that never ending ridicule of the bossy; that society responds to barbarism with barbarism, taking him to a darkroom and shifting the floor under him so that his hangs like a bag with his head, hanging like a melon about to roll out of a grocery bag.

IT IS CERTAIN THAT WITH THE EXECUTION OF HUSSEIN A PROBLEM IS ENDED. There will be no a constant disturbance emanating from the cell of the prisoner, the risk will have been removed that with some legal trickery, much palm greasing of scruple free hands and the support of forces of the kind that do not miss, the criminal could leave the jail and return to power, that all we have seen happen. But also it is truth that when cashing his crimes with death, society becomes an assassin, with the aggravating case that its own faults are expiated by a single individual, the condemned.

Am I advocating that instead of only sending to the gallows Hussein - and to other two who are waiting the rope treatment- it is proceeded to a mass execution of all his acolytes? No. On the contrary. I am affirming that the capital punishment does not solve anything, that it distributes the horror of the mallet in all the society and that, more importantly, exempts this one from the self examination and the reflection on all cheating and thugishness that it is able to tolerate, to support and to justify. Without a country - or a part of him, because the victims are not part of it nor are they guilty of their misfortunes- that finds arguments to give legitimacy to a dictatorship, there is no possible dictator. Without a permissive society there is no room for the sprouting of tyrants.

LET US WATCH VENEZUELA TODAY. The idiocies that have gathered the recent surveys of Datanálisis and other soundings made by international agencies do not have valid explanations. A fast reading leads us to the conclusion that a majority of the population is perfectly disposed to change the liberties and a civilized coexistence for economic prosperity. As if that were possible, as if it were not a false dilemma, as if it were not a demonstrated fact in many countries that wealth is only consequence of a productivity steeled in a frame of justice, clear rules, economic, political and social liberties. The few countries that have obtained economic advances in an authoritarian context have made it in spite of the dictatorship and not thanks to it. And it is a fact that freeing from premodern structures their growth to progress are exponential.

Our society defines itself as one of the happiest in the world, if not the happiest; and this declaration is enunciated in such days in which the deaths by homicides happen to be more than half thousand. I do not understand which is the idea of happiness of a population that knows very well that its idyll with life can end with a shotgun in the street, that it does not ignore that the economic bonanza that we enjoy is a bubble that will burst at any time on our face, because it is full of air… and not of the air of freedom that we need to create ideas and wealth.

That society that responds these surveys with so much frivolity and implausible irresponsibility will be the same one that at some future date will become furious against the incubus, whatever it is, we always have one at hand. And as it recently constituted hordes to defenestrate political parties of the past, in the same way it will lead to the bonfire, we hope in a symbolic way, those who now it celebrates in the form of inflatable dolls and for whom it holds hagiographies to praise him.

The culprit always will be another one.

A creep who deceived the masses.

Let us try not forgetting that just yesterday they swore to be delighted, totally reconciled with the idea to put all the decisions into the hands of a single man, all the powers, all the versions of history, all the pro-government parties, all the values of the democracy, all the country broken in chunks of firewood to intensify nocturnal feast. Those masses are minors delighted when putting their destiny into the hands of a tutor. Tomorrow they will turn all against the monster, finally the only culprit.

How sad. And what mediocrity.

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