This, this is helpful...Pat Robertson and Chavez sitting in a tree...

Sure, Chavez is being perceived as a growing pain in the ass...but is it a really good idea for a religious leader like Pat Robertson to espouse taking him out?

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on "The 700 Club" it was the United States' duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a "launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

Chavez has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush, accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. U.S. officials have called the accusations ridiculous.

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Electronic pages and a message to a Robertson spokeswoman were not immediately returned Monday evening.

Venezuela is the fifth largest oil exporter and a major supplier of oil to the United States. The CIA estimates that U.S. markets absorb almost 59 percent of Venezuela's total exports.

Venezuela's government has demanded in the past that the United States crack down on Cuban and Venezuelan "terrorists" in Florida who they say are conspiring against Chavez.

Robertson accused the United States of failing to act when Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said.

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

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(1) We ought to post the Ten Commandments at every intersection so people like Robertson can remember them better...
(2) John Perkins' book CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN refers to the resistance of Ecuadorean and Panamanian presidents (Roldos and Torrijos)to US domination and their subsequent "accidental" deaths, and so I have been watching the press about Chavez.  Robertson may be cooperating with the government in preparing a phony and unofficial rationale for some forthcoming accident.  I hope, out of some sense of justice (a foolish and futile goal), that Iraq plus Chavez' popularity will keep him safe.
The 'Ten Commandments' won't help you when the real oil peak becomes apparent, a lot of people are going to die and probably murdered for food, oil, posessions, etc.

Killing one lowsy dictator now might be a good alternative.

An alternative?  One lousy dictator?

Chavez is an authoritarian president, but he was elected, so the dictator contention seems out, at least for now.

And this is an alternative strategy?  How, exactly, does it prevent peak oil?

Whether you like Chavez or not, he was elected, and then reconfirmed in a special "recall" vote (where the people could have turfed him) by majority votes of the people there. Venezuela is a federal democracy; everyone over 18 can vote.

Meanwhile, we (the west) support real dictators elsewhere.

Bottom line: Venezuelan oil resources belong to them and their people - they can do what they want with them. In a tight supply environment there will be plenty of buyers willing to pay the price - its capitalism at its finest, no?

As for Robertson, his recent comments just go to show how little he follows his own professed faith. Disgusting!

It was reported that the Chavez recall election had widespread irregulatities; for one thing, the tallied results did not match the exit polls and the electronic voting machines could have been rigged without a trace.

If you think that US elections are immune to such tampering, think again.

No, the election was thouroughly audited by two sets of outside auditors - the OAS and Carter center.  No descrepancies were found.  Also, the exit poll you refer to was by a leading opposition organization.  All other exit polls (there were about 10) showed Chavez winning plus pre-election polls had him winning.  Now he polls around 70 to 80%.  Mind you these are by polling firms opposed to Chavez.

The Carter center went home before paper ballots were tallied.  As I said, e-voting is not trustworthy (there, here, or anywhere).

If Chávez is so committed to democracy, pluralism and separation of powers, why does he sound like Castro and why did he try to  pack the Supreme Court (and succeed) to make it totally subservient to him?

Chávez runs a democracy like any other autocrat:  One man, one vote, one time.

No you are relying on some false information here.  The paper ballot audit was done by the Carter Center and the OAS.  They have the reports detailing it at the bottom of this page.

As far as the court being subservient - it said the coup against him wasn't a coup and let everyone go.  Definitely subservient.

And it is not one vote one time.  Chavez himself has stood for election 3 times.  There were local elections just recently.  Congressional ones are in December and Presidential in 2006.  Sorry but Venezuela has more elections than just about anyplace I can think of

I followed the election news - it seemed to me at the time that the elections were about as clean as you might expect in such an environment.

Whether one agrees with him or not you have to admire how he's playing the politics of the situation - using the country's oil to gain influence (we call that a bad thing yet we do the same thing ourselves in reverse fashion - we seek to gain influence over oil) and spending plans have dramatically raised his popularity inside the country and outside since.

No doubt there will be a showdown of sorts.

I think Robertson's idea of "taking out" Chavez is typical of far too many fearful, uninformed Americans who see everything only from the perspective of their own immediate fears, concerns, and interests.  It is important to a civilized, democratic society (and world, we hope) that people step back (no pun intended, SB) and see everyone's interest, and consider letting other folks have some of the goods.  Venezuela and its resources belong to the people of Venezuela, and if we have to give up driving Hummers so some Venezuelan peasant can avoid watching his little daughter starve to death, then I say screw every American who "thinks" he has a right to drive a Hummer.  [Indeed, Henry Kissinger has said that every person and nation has a legitimate right to their interests and it's government's job to protect the interests of its people.]

In contrast to Robertson and his ilk, I commend to you the following  sign / graffiti painted on a cement bridge abutment in October, 2001:
"America has been blessed.  Let God bless someone else."  This sign alone, and people's often delighted reaction to it when I describe it, encourages me to be optimistic for our future.  After all, it's how we treat each other that really matters.

There will be a considerable disruption in our future, although we do not know whether it will be quick and sharp or slow enough to adapt fairly easily.  We gleefully consume so much in this country that it seems to me we could cut our consumption by half and barely notice it.  Let's not start shooting madly in all directions just yet.  And Americans love to have problems to solve.  

Who gives you the right to say who is a dictator or not. How many americans in total elected George Bush. Chavez was elected!

Of course he is a pain in the ass for you because he is getting better deals to explore and sell its oil benefiting his people.

So, at least be honest! Don´t get moral excuses!

"One lousy dictator"? Maybe you've been spoonfed by the mainstream media too much. Chavez was democratically elected by the people of Venezuala -- and is very popular there -- even after an attmpted US coup and recall election.

If there's anyone more apt to be called a "lowsy dictator" I can certainly think of one sitting right here in our own backyard.

I read in the news that the Saudis had booby trapped their own oil infrastructure - basically as a deterrent to prevent a hostile takeover.  I presume that Chavez will have taken similar precautions.
Ericy: that's right.  Here's a link to that post/story:

I'd not seen that article back in May; funny, I've always assumed that the ideal terrorist attack on Saudi Arabia would include the use of radioactive dirty bombs. Perhaps the Saudis have obliged by installing the devices themselves... only one wonders if another party might one day pull the trigger against their will.

Too much Tom Clancy? Or not enough?

Chavez has many good ideas - one is oil embargo on the US. For the Americans this would solve nicely the problem of dependence from foreign oil. Oil shales and coal mining would bring lots of new jobs. People would use more bicycles and become healthier. For the rest of us it would bring oil prices down and ample supply. Pat Robertson is of course doing his best to bring Chavez to realize this with Iran and other oil producers. Keep on, Pat!
Chavez is a pain in the ass for who? Maybe people who want cheap oil.  But its not his job to bring about cheap oil.  Its his job to do whats best for Venezuela and that is clearly participating in OPEC and defending prices by restricting production.  He is a democratically elected leader (3 times now) and its Venezuela's oil so that is his perogative. More power to him.

Plus he sure does good things with the money - lots of good social and educational programs have been implemented by him.

he is a pain in the ass for USA.  because the majority of American voters want cheap oil so they can continue to live in suburbs, eat drive thru macdonalds, drive everywhere, take road trips in the summer, i.e. consume oil.

if americans do not want to change, alter the way they live, then Chavez must be removed.  he destabilizes oil prices.  and Americans need to stop questioning American's hawkish policy to acquire oil, i.e. Iraq war & Failed assassination attempt on Chavez in 2004.  people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

if the leaders of the US would just admit that they were being hawkish to acquire oil, they'd be at least more understood domestically (though I imagine that would just increase the already bad feelings towards us around the world...).
What is it with these "religious" hypocrites, and why are their followers so ignorant about the faith they base their entire identities on? Murder is pretty much the number one sin, in both Testaments. Usury also gets a pretty bad rap. But the Christo-facsists gleefully engage in, and promote, both these cardinal sins. But they incessantly rail against homosexuality, which is barely even mentioned in the Good Book. How can these people be taken seriously?

And the thing is, Robertson isn't even trotting out the old "just war" canard, but rather calling for the assassination of the leader of a Christian nation only because Chavez endangers cheap oil prices.      

This will probably embarass the Bush administration more than hurt Chavez. I heard a great speech Chavez gave when he was being pressured to increase oil production. His response was "I am not as concerned about high oil prices as I am for the high price of food, clothing and other basic necessities that people need to survive."

Forgive for using this space also as an excuse for bringing up my favorite Biblical quote as relates to Man's responsibility for the planet.

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth"
(Genesis 1:27-28).

Many simplistic interpretations are basically: Do whatever you want to the environment because Man is the dominant species. My interpretation is that God has basically yielded his power over the natural environment to Man following the fall from Eden. This is an enormous responsibility, in particular because he instructs Man to "replenish" the Earth. I could not imagine a clearer statement of Man's responsibility to care for his environment. I love the word replenish.

Ianqui - you have some religious training don't you? Any comments?

let's be real here...  high food, clothes, basic necessities price are linked to high oil prices.  high oil prices = high basic necessities prices.

on a 2nd note, the amreican economy runs on cheap oil.  our american lifestyle feeds on cheap oil.  high priced oil endangers our way of life.  
are Americans ready to make sacrifices to our suburban, SUV driving, dishwashing machine powered, drive-thru fastfood lifestye?  if not, then, Hugo Chavez is America's enemy #1 because he puts stable oil prices in jeopardy.

Chavez doesn't endanger America's well being; American politicians do that all on their own.

Proof? Why look no further than the recently passed "energy" bill.

Imagine, an energy bill that does nothing to promote conservation. An energy bill that doesn't mandate improved mileage and improvements in mass (people and goods) transportation infrastructure.

Chavez is a democratically elected leader of a country that has relatively free and open elections. Their people have spoken, its not up to us to change their leadership.

Lets put a finer point on this: Anyone agitating for the forcible removal or assassination of Chavez must also be logically ok with the same happening to our leaders.


i agree with you a lot here.  American Politicians have a lot to blame.  But those politicians are at the mercy of their constituents - little gas consumers and Big oil companies.  The irony is, the Big oil companies want conservation while, the little gas consumers don't want to change.  Remember in 70's oil embargo, how Jimmy Carter went on TV and pleaded with Americans to conserve conserve conserve, change change change.  Result?  America elects Ronald Reagan.  This is a slap in the face for conservation.  America basically said in 1980, screw conservation, get me the cheap oil because we are not changing our habits!

Until the american public educates and snaps out of sleepy addiction of wasteful consumption, American Politicians must act forcefully when global oil supply is in question.

Chavez has threatened to cut US off of Venezuelan oil.  Despite the fact that he is a legit leader,a nice guy, implements social reforms in venezuela, he is a threat to US because Americans refuses to change.  If americans don't change, the only thing to do is force Venezuela to change, i.e. remove Chavez.  By the way, i like Chavez and the social programs that he's implemented in S.America.  But he endangers US's oil supply and has gots to go.

i am not ok with assassination of our leaders, because they act on our behalf.  (you and i).  it's the same as the assassination of ourselves, and i'm not ok with that.

"I am not as concerned about high oil prices as I am for the high price of food, clothing and other basic necessities that people need to survive."
And you never considered that the Chavezistas might have caused those high prices by disrupting the businesses which used to deliver them at reasonable prices?  That he might even have done this for political purposes, to get the peasant-class to resent the business people and vote against anyone or any issue associated with them (like the recall)?

Go back and read Machiavelli.

Personally as long as he is democratically elected and does not engage in genocide, he can do whatever he wants down there. You can disagree with him, but I don't think we have a right to interfere in their affairs.

I would also say that he has as much right to rile up the peasants against the business elites just as much as a right winger would have to do the opposite. If you dislike him that much, please urge President Bush and Cheney to stop buying his oil. But killing him will only cause the world to hate us more.

Personally I prefer Kant to Machiavelli, but there are times for each. Sun Tzu had some good ideas as well.

I wasn't proposing that you read Machiavelli as a prescription, but as a way to understand what Chávez and his cronies are up to.

I wonder if you would be singing the same tune if a right-wing dictator rounded up the poor in the shantytowns, destroyed their property and removed them to sex-segregated internment camps.  Not genocide, just controlling a lawless part of the population you see.

That would be a repulsive thing to do and violate a host of recognized human rights; Chávez' doings are no better for all that his rhetoric plays well with the Marxist left in the USA.

The core of this discussion is whether Robertson should be censured for his views or whether they are legitimate (or intentional) and not the ramblings of an apparently insane person.

Are you (engineer poet) in favour of Pat Robertson's "remedy"?

Is killing  political leaders of countries we do not agree with a justifyable strategy?

And what do you think OPEC's reaction would be to the assassination of one of its member's leaders? Muted? Symbolic? or a reminder of the 1970's?

It would seem to me highly unlikely that the US would be the major importer of Venzuelan oil if Chavez is bumped off.

Unfortunately its impossible to avoid linking politics to oil since all major powers, except for Russia, are net oil importers, the issue is doomed to remain highly politicized or worse until a real energy future is mapped out.

This is all non-sense.  Venezuela is a completely free country.  People can do, think, speak, organize, vote, travel, etc as they please.  You thinkthe US media is tough on its politicians.  Watch for hald an hour how the Venezuelan media treats Chavez.

And as far as what he is doing for people:

I would say improving the poors standard of living by 30% in one year isn't bad.

They definitely like all the new health clinics:

And they like the booming economy:

I'd say any leader that focusses on the poor of the country is bound to be popular with the poor. Unfortunately it will make him a villan in the international business community and ergo its ties to mainstream power politics.

I'm a conservative by nature and by political affiliation, but tend to a more open view of social programs.  The ability of land to sustain people is a key determinant of poverty; in this case, Venezuela is using the "land" (the resource wealth below it) to improve its people's standard of living.

That's not so different than Alberta, Canada, spending money on programs with its immense oil fueled surpluses. Its the only province in Canada which is debt free and has billions in surplusses to spend now.

The key difference is that Alberta doesn't have far more people living in the land mass than the land mass, and its associated businesses and agriculture, can support. Shove another 50 million people into Alberta and it would look like Venezuela economically!

The Venezuela experience doesn't work everywhere. Being able to sustain this means increasing nationalization of resources to keep profits in the country. This may well reduce the ultimate output of the country, which may also lead to poor resource management practices.

However if they take the long view and invest in expertise and education, and manage the resource propertly, ultimately the nation is likely to benefit.

And, if "peak oil" really is around the corner, what they are doing could be considered a brilliant stroke and absolutely neccessary to protect its people over the intermediate future.

IF/when peak oil is widely recognized, and IF there have not been adequate mitigation efforts put in place, you will see a lot more exporting countries start to nationalize or otherwise protect a key resource.

After all what country will rush over the cliff if they know where the cliff resides...

will you be ok if Chavez cuts US off oil?  what if he just adds $5 to Venezuelan crude oil exports?

what do you think will happen when you try to fill up at the gas station?  how much will groceries cost?  do you like walking to work?  that is, if your employer hasn't laid you off yet due to high overhead.

you've depended on your public utility companies to provide you electricity for years, in exchange for a monthly fee.  What if that company decides to cut you off?  from your post, you're basically telling me that you don't mind as long as the power company isn't committing genocide.

by the way, We buy 1.5 million barrels a day of oil from Venezuela.  good luck trying to get that from someone else.  Chavez knows that if he cuts US off, he will die.  this administration will pull out of Iraq and invade Venezuela.

Invade Venezuela??? Have fun.  If there is any topography that lends itself to guerilla warefare it is Venezeula.  Lots of mounaints, jungles, rivers, big urban areas with tall buildings.  No dessert here.
BBC: TV host urges US to kill Chavez

Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said Venezuela was studying its legal options.

"The ball is in the US court, after this criminal statement by a citizen of that country.

"It's huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism and at the same time, in the heart of that country there are entirely terrorist statements like those."

State Department spokesman San McCormack said Mr Robertson was speaking as a private citizen and that the US administration did not share his views.

A spokeswoman for the Christian Broadcasting Network told the BBC: "We are at a time of war and Pat had war on his mind when he made the comments."

LOL great excuse.

Clearly, we don't want Chavez because, at least up to this point, he has not played our game, and we believe with religious-like conviction that our game is the only game. Of course, anyone who does not play by our rules is eventually tagged with a pejorative label, ie, terrorist, Communist, Marxist, dictator, autocrat, etc., and, by definition, they become an enemy and a threat and, therefore, a target.

Lack of proper submission from those nations lower on the dominance hierarchy usually elicits aversive consequences: always programs of propaganda and political destabilization, embargoes at other times, the support of domestic coups, and occasionally war. Such is the nature of the dominant male. (Of course, women can be good at this game, too.)

Partly because of oil and partly because he--Chavez--has not been sufficiently submissive, he has proved to be an annoyance to dominant American institutions: military, political, economic, class, or any combination. There's nothing worse to those on top than the threat of a successful alternative. After all, didn't Monroe and JQ Adams, sometime ago, proclaim our right to guide and oversee these poor, inferior, misguided souls? And what right do they have to challenge our benevolence and instruction? Mr. Chavez stands in the way of our manifest's downright un-American!

Oh, I wonder whether Robertson ,and ilk, are acquainted with the sermons of the Prince of Peace, the Author of Love, the Golden Rule?  

Cheers, mch


Chavez is a die-hard, old-fashioned, they're-not-gone Communist.  Just like his good buddy and mentor Fidel "The Beard" Castro.

  1.  Venezuela's problems have been caused by Chavez's totalitarian mismanagement of the government.
  2.  Chavez is a dangerous thug trying to export the Red dogma through force and arms throughout the Americas.
  3.  Without US help, they're wouldn't be any oil being produced in Venezuela.
  4.  The vote in Venezuela was rigged.  Carter and the OAS monitoring this election?  HA!  That's like the Jellyfish and Fox watching the chicken coop.
  5.  I'm tired of all the links to how "fair, honest and good" Chavez's unjust rule of Communist Venezuela.  Anyone and a good share of everyone has generated thousands of left-wing articles concerning the virtues of socialist dictators.  Those fawning articles are similar to the ones written by wacko Western lefties who threw themselves at one of Chavez's heroes: Joseph Stalin.

Maybe it is time to give Tony Soprano a call.  
Time to remind conservative Americans bent on worldwide domination of the destruction caused around the world by US invasions, covert subversions, and proxy wars. Chavez is not perfect...who is?...but he's a sign of hope for his people and those who might benefit from his idea of sharing Venezuela's oil wealth locally. Anyway he would be doing the US a favour by cutting off their supply of oil. Then Bush might have to be nice to Iran etc. rather than threatening them and so world peace (cue sentimental music) might be furthered. That's surely better than sending kids to war with "Burn motherfucker" burn" ringing in their ears isn't it?
while slow transition away from oil is the way to go, a sudden "cut off" from oil will be disastrous for the US economy.  if the US econ goes, so goes the world's.  why?  California alone ranks 3rd in the world in Econ power.  behind #1 - EU, and #2 - Japan.  so cutting US off of Venezuelan oil is like cornering a used-to-eating-everything-in-the-jungle elephant.  resultant US reaction?  how about war?  Please see Iraq.  the only trump card we have left is military might.
Chavez is the current boogeyman, but this issue is a lot bigger than Venezuela.

Think of it as asymmetrical combat: the US has lawyers, guns and money. Venezuela has only what the Saudis called "the oil sword." Wielding the oil weapon can cause great damage to a larger, more powerful adversary.

Iraq has re-proven that the US can topple almost any government in the world. It's also shown that toppling a government is insufficient to make the oil flow.

With demand equal to supply, any oil exporting country, large or small, now has disproportionate power over oil importing countries. Because the US has the biggest thirst, it is the most vulnerable. The only solution is less oil dependency.