Friday, January 06, 2006

Bush Wishes Death Upon Hugo Chavez

Do I have your attention? Actually, no, but imagine the outcry if he did. The re-elected president of the world's leading democracy wishing death upon a human rights violating dictator who stole an election with Jimmy Carter applauding all the way. The media would play it as a disgrace.

But instead it was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Howard Dean of Iran, who made the exact same wish regarding Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who may indeed be headed in that direction.

The most eerie part about his comments was his addition that he hopes others go with him. For a man whose nation is actively seeking to make nuclear weapons and who has already stated that he wants Israel wiped off the map, such remarks are more than just bluster. Which is why the world community needs to take this man much more seriously than they are. Granted, the new German government under Angela Merkel is taking Ahmadinejad's earlier comments very seriously, but more needs to be done.

Ahmadinejad is a terrorist. He was one of the many who held Americans hostage in Iran from 1979 to 1981 while Jimmy Carter (whose name strangely seems to come up in discussions of U.S. foreign policy flaccidity) pleaded for their return. And he is increasingly threatened by the shape that Iraq is taking, which is much more attractive to his very well educated and pro-democracy population. So when Ahmadinejad makes these kinds of comments, it ought to scare people. Because once he has a nuclear device, all he will need is the national equivalent of a slingshot and a long fuse to reach Tel Aviv.

And in all reality, his remarks may actually be provocative. The Israelis didn't hesitate to level the nuclear plant at Osirak, Iraq in 1981, because they knew what horrors would be borne out of it. Likewise, I doubt that they will stand for a nuclear-armed Iran under Ahmadinejad (or anyone else for that matter), because Israel isn't known for its dithering when it comes to its own security. It doesn't live an ocean away from its enemies.

So he may have actually wished the same fate upon himself as he did to Sharon. Funny how that works.

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