8/25/2005

Pat Robertson: TERRORIST

When 700 Club president Pat Robertson advocated the assassination of democratically-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Robertson became an advocate of terrorism.

There is no difference between an Islamic extremist advocating violence against U.S. citizens and a Christian extremist advocating violence against foreign nationals. Both fit the definition of a terrorist.

The reaction to Robertson's statement was quite interesting. Most working people just thought he was nuts, but the U.S. government said he was speaking as a "private citizen." Other Christian extremists jokingly downplayed his comments and focused on his age and his propensity to speak before he thinks. Still others called his comments "anti-Christian," yet chose to divert attention to Chavez, citing as fact that he committed "election fraud." (Egads! One wonders if they have ever heard of Florida or Ohio.)

Hugo Chavez was democratically elected several times and the opposition -- funded by the United States -- claimed election fraud. In 2002, Chavez underwent an intense recall vote under international observation, including former President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center, yet Chavez was elected again with 58 percent of the vote. No evidence of fraud was found.

Chavez won because he appeals to Venezuela's poor workers and peasants. He promised to use a percentage or his nation's vast oil wealth to begin literacy programs, provide access to health care, find a workable land reform solution, and to make economic pacts with other Latin American nations. While Robertson was busy untying his tongue, Chavez was in Jamaica, where he signed an agreement with Prime Minister Percival Patterson.

The agreement increases the supply of Venezuelan oil through Petrocaribe, a Chavez oil program than will save Caribbean nations about $1 billion per year. Jamaica will get up to 22,000 barrels of discounted oil at a cost of $40 per barrel to be financed with low interest loans. This is an example of fair trade that the world could use more of. During an earlier stop in Havana, Cuba, Chavez spoke of increasing poverty in the United States as oil prices climb, and announced his government's desire to sell gasoline directly to poor, organized communities. Chavez said this would reduce costs by cutting out the middle men.

Pat Robertson is no crazier than Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Rice. Venezuela accounts for 10 percent of U.S. oil imports and the Bush administration is not happy about a renegade leader using oil profits for human needs. This sets a bad example in the world. It makes the rest of the greedy bastards look like the greedy bastards they are.

Now, what to do about Robertson? He was speaking on the 700 club, not at home on his front porch. He was speaking as a Christian broadcaster, not as a private citizen, and the FCC has control over his broadcast license. Everyone should demand that ABC pull his show off the air and that the FCC revoke his license. The next step is to go after his advertisers and let them know they have a terrorist on their payroll.

Because Robertson advocated the violent death of the president of a sovereign nation, the Dept. of Homeland Security also needs to investigate his statement to determine if terrorism charges should be filed against him. According to my dictionary, he is a terrorist.

8/11/2005

The Anti-war movement grows in Crawford, Texas

Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq, is holding vigil outside the Bush compound near Crawford, Texas. She wants to ask him why her son had to die for a lie. And other mothers who lost children in Iraq are joining her. There were no WMD. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. It was an elaborate hoax foisted upon the world by Bush and Blair.

While Sheehan and the anti-war movement in Crawford, Texas, await scant media coverage, the corporate media focus on sports, entertainment, celebrity news, and, of course, on crime stories. Our sons and daughters are dying in Iraq, yet we go on with our lives as if there were no war.

Consumers are shopping and buying. The smell of cotton candy and popcorn permeate the air at county fairs. NASCAR is in full swing. The NFL preseason is beginning. Wolf Blitzer is talking his usual blather and Bill O'Reilly wouldn't know the truth if it crawled up his ass. Christians trot off to church every Sunday, mistakenly believing that Bush is one of them.

I heard a woman on a C-SPAN call-in show say that she did not want the war in her living room. This is a post-Vietnam mantra repeated by right-wing pundits who blame the media for turning public opinion against the war. The media did its job during Vietnam and brought us the stories -- gore and all -- so we could see at least a glimpse of what was happening there. And yes, thankfully, public opinion had a lot to do with ending the Vietnam war -- another war in which we should never have become involved.

More than 1800 families in the US have made the same sacrifice that Cindy Sheehan has. More than 10,000 Iraqi families have made similar sacrifices. Yet here we are going about life as usual without having to think about the war. We are disaffected by it except when the media manipulates us like puppets. Thank you, Cindy, for reminding us that there is work to be done to bring the troops home safely and to make sure Bush doesn't get us involved in another bloody scheme. For more information or to write to Cindy, visit http://www.meetwithcindy.org