Monday, January 09, 2006

Bellicose Belafonte 

[Update: Check out these "Pictures of Repression" from 2004. It's one of 5 galleries from the missing person site, and it shows the kind of "Democracy" they have in Venezuela.]

Its always amusing to see how faded, washed out celebrities weasel back into the news. The list of "Americans" who met with Chavez on Sunday reads like a Hollywood obituary: Danny "Black Panther" Glover, Cornel "prophetic witness in imperial America" West and Harry Belafonte, who is regaining some measure of notoriety for purportedly telling Chavez that millions of Americans support his revolution. Dream on, Harry:
"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution,"

Hollywood has always been a strange place, but it never ceases to amaze me how deluded and warped the world view of some of the West Coast elite has become. This, of course, isn't the first time Belafonte has run his mouth off. Back in 2002, he compared Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice to "house slaves," since we all know that skin color shouldn't limit anything in America, except political preference. And this isn't even the first time he's gone with the "tyrant" motif either, according to Wikipedia:
In 2005, he referred to Black Republicans as "tyrants" and compared those serving in the Bush administration to Nazis. He also compared the Bush administration to the Third Reich, and stated (falsely) that "Hitler had a lot of Jews" in his regime.

If Hollywood really cared about the lives of the people in these countries, or about people in general, they wouldn't shy away from recognizing a real tyrant when they see one. Apparently, Hollywood's idea of tyranny involves winning free, peaceful elections by the biggest number of votes in the history of your country, but not gassing and killing your own citizens, torturing, raping and killing political dissidents, starving and bankrupting your country, and consolidating power via force and fixed elections. This much we can infer, given the less than stellar support the Iraq war has received in the "Brokeback Mountain" part of the world. Not that Chavez is a saint either, according to this list of missing political opposition figures in Venezuela, and a US News story detailing his ties to other less-than-savory leaders. But the real sad part about this story is that it is a story at all. A delegation of aging hippies from LA shouldn't even be fodder for the tabloids, especially when our nation is at war and facing very real challenges each day. I'm not sure which is more lamentable, in fact: the sad state of affairs among America's so-called "elite," or that we are showing the world a pathetic and inaccurate reflection of national sentiment that is the direct result of an undiscerning, biased American news media.

Chavez is a tryant and a thug, yes.

However, I'd be wary of making the link to middle east terrorism based upon that article. Every single source is an administration figure. In light of all the mis- and dis-information that's come out in the last several years, I'd take ANYTHING members of this administration say w/a grain of salt.

This is one of the sad byproducts of the whole Iraq debacle.

Anyways, my whole point is twofold:
1) its tiresome to see people defending Castro/Chavez. They are not paragons of democracy, justice, blah blah blah. Lefties who do this just discredit themselves.
2) that said, let's not turn these two thugs into the second coming of either Hitler or bin Laden.
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