Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chavez and Islam, through Chomsky

This association is rather sulfurous; to use his UN copyrighted words. But Chavez is everyday threading in even more dangerous grounds when he deepens his association with radical regimes of Islam such as Iran. Because you may observe that Chavez is not deepening his relations with more moderate or even democratic regimes of Islam. No trips to Turkey, or Egypt or Jordan or even Morocco are in the plans. Only Libya, Iraq, Syria and Iran are in the regulars lists, with an accessory stop in some oil producing country because, well, oil business must be attended to so he can afford all of these extravagant and useless trips Chavez undertakes every few days. But this morning, due to the strange association of barely waking up, tea and general low level stress associated with life in Venezuela I put together three articles that sort of lightened up a warning sign. It all started reading in the Washington Post that a woman, a noted educator of women in Afghanistan had been cowardly assassinated by the Taliban that are trying to make a come back in Pashtun lands, those that are, not so coincidentally, further away from Kabul. Trying to make sense of the murder of Safia Ama Jan defies all what is Human in us.
"A teacher for more than three decades and an advocate for women's rights, Safia Ama Jan ran an underground school for girls during Taliban rule. On Monday, two men on a motorbike gunned her down as she left for work -- identifying their target despite her full burqa."
Immediately of course I thought about the article of Milagros Socorro that appeared last Sunday in El Nacional. Posted here in Spanish. The tile "Now that we are talking about machismo, let's discuss Iran" is already quite a promise. Indeed, as Ahmidanejerk was visiting Caracas Milagros Socorro reminded us of the dire situation of women in Iran, which if better than in other Islamic countries is far from satisfactory. Heck, they even have bus and auditorium assigned seats, in the back, as in the best days of US southern Segregation. Has someone explained these things to Chavez? Is he aware? And if he is aware, what does that reflect of him as a human being? Assuming that he is one, something to be questioned more and more. Or perhaps in a grander view, if the lines of islamo-bolivariano-fascism become more prevalent, will women become the “new Jews”? With all my apologies of course to my beloved Simon Bolivar and all the Holocaust victims, but what is black chador if not a variation of the Yellow David Star? So far in Venezuela we have only an electronic yellow star courtesy of Tascon, but in the low classes the good people know that wearing a red shirt when you go to collect your state allocation tends to speed things along. There is also another possibility. Chavez is smart but Chavez is not deep, he is no intellectual. That is, he catches quickly on thing but he is slower at understanding the bigger pictures, at exploring in depth the consequences of ideas and theories. It is enough to see how he mismanages the Venezuelan economy by “à coups” to understand that he has a very poor understanding of basic economical principles, be they socialist or capitalist for that matter. Curiously I was reminded this morning through a WSJ article on Chomsky, showing by the way that Chavez probably does not get Chomsky either, or worse, is played by Chomsky as a fiddle. The title of the article is “Who Is Noam Chomsky?” But the subtitle is even more interesting: "Someone who should have stuck to syntax". Acknowledging the contribution to linguistics of Mr. Chomsky, the author of the article has no qualms in characterizing the deleterious political input of Chomsky ‘s writing once he left science. I have not read anything on Chomsky so I certainly would not discuss his ideas, which seem to be of a visceral anti Americanism that denies the good that exist within the US society that has allowed it to overcome slavery, the most devastating civil war ever experienced in the Americas, the worst economic crisis, segregation, and that will surely find a way to reinvent itself to escape the current days problem. But I have been always an admirer of US history for its warts, and big ones at that. I have suspected long ago that critics of the US have no understanding on how the US works, on why it was founded. But back to the WSJ and let’s quote thrice from Mr. Scruton’s article:
"To his supporters Noam Chomsky is a brave and outspoken champion of the oppressed against a corrupt and criminal political class. But to his opponents he is a self-important ranter whose one-sided vision of politics is chosen for its ability to shine a spotlight on himself. And it is surely undeniable that his habit of excusing or passing over the faults of America's enemies, in order to pin all crime on his native country, suggests that he has invested more in his posture of accusation than he has invested in the truth." "For it is his ability to excite not just contempt for American foreign policy but a lively sense that it is guided by some kind of criminal conspiracy that provides the motive for Prof. Chomsky's unceasing diatribes and the explanation of his influence. The world is full of people who wish to think ill of America. And most of them would like to be Americans. The Middle East seethes with such people, and Prof. Chomsky appeals directly to their envious emotions, as well as to the resentments of leaders like President Chavez who cannot abide the sight of a freedom that they haven't the faintest idea how to produce or the least real desire to emulate." "But this pleasure in others' success, which is the great virtue of America, is not to be witnessed in those who denounce her. They hate America not for her faults, but for her virtues, which cast a humiliating light on those who cannot adapt to the modern world or take advantage of its achievements."
As I wrote earlier, I assume that Mr. Scruton has the basis to write such words, and I have no reason to doubt them as I have personally observed this phenomenon only too often. But the objective of my post is not to discuss Chomsky, it is to illustrate how ignorant Chavez is on how things really work in the world, be then in Iran or the US. Chavez resentment is so well described by the words of Mr. Scruton that it is frightening. Indeed, Chavez can only hide his lack of virtues by demonizing other people virtues and making them even worse faults than their natural Human faults. And thus we have a president that enhances negative Islamist virtues and Chomsky negativism in a land which is totally alien to either cultures; as indeed Chomsky is as much a culture of resentement as radical Islamism is. Whereas Venezuela is a culture of "pleasant laissez faire". How long will the charade last?

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