December 30, 2011

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Hugo Chavez Falls Off The Edge Of The World. “Chavez’ statement like most of his speeches was intended more as political theater than as serious analysis of the way the world works; nevertheless it is interesting to see how the cancer charge reflects ideas he shares or thinks will jazz up his base. As a psychological portrait of a certain element of the Latin left, the speech is quite revealing. . . . The sad truth is that even if we had invented some kind of untraceable multi-cancer agent and decided to use it, we wouldn’t be wasting it on Venezuela. There might be a wave of cancers in Iran, where recent news events point to a certain activism on the part of US and other agents. Some Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders, and perhaps a few others in the region, might suddenly show the effects of intensive chemotherapy. But as is so often the case, poor Latin America would be the orphan stepchild of US foreign policy. Maybe we would give Chavez the flu.”