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Chavez to UN: "It smells of sulfur still"

As I read the transcript of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' speech to the United Nations yesterday, I find myself both thoroughly entertained and thoroughly disturbed.

He called Bush "Satan," and claimed "It smells of sulfur still today." He talked about the ineffectiveness of the United Nations, and the immorality of American hegemony. He even touted Noam Chomfsky's book, "Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States", which I am going to re-purchase and re-read, thanks to Mr. Chavez.

And you know what? He makes a lot of sense. But I find myself disturbed because I am a member of the nation he speaks of, and while I too look around myself and see these things going on, I fear what this speech may have unleashed. Members of the United Nations applauded him. Laughed at his jokes. Stood to support his efforts. Russia and China included.

Where does that leave us? Isolated. That's where. Its just us and the U.K. Great.

He did not call for the nations to draw arms, which is good. He emphasized peace, eradication of poverty, and true democracy, not democracy at gunpoint. And he had this one great quote ...
The president of the United States, yesterday, said to us, right here, in this room, and I'm quoting, "Anywhere you look, you hear extremists telling you can escape from poverty and recover your dignity through violence, terror and martyrdom."

Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother -- he looks at your color, and he says, oh, there's an extremist. Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him.

The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we are extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking up all over. And people are standing up.

I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.
It is one of the sharpest rebukes of American foreign policy over the last 60 years, and it should have come much sooner if you ask me.

Some of you might accuse me of being disloyal. I would imagine you are the "My country right or wrong" type. But in America, every person STILL has the right to freedom of speech and ideas. Just because I disagree, ADAMANTLY, with the actions of this government, does not mean I do not love my country. This is loyalty through dissent; a venerable national past-time; the very foundation of America.

I would encourage you to read Chavez' speech. He takes a couple cheap shots at Bush (the "devil" remark), but makes numerous points that echo the sentiments of the American people ... And run completely counter to the intent of our current government.

You can find the speech here, for the time being. If the link goes down, I'll find it elsewhere and repost.

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