Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Crazy, or a case of foot-in-mouth disease

Whole lot of weirdness reported here.

Let's assassinate Chavez, says US Christian leader

From Tom Baldwin in Washington

The former presidential candidate Pat Robertson, a founder of the Christian Coalition, was stamped on last night by the Bush Administration for urging the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader.

The right-wing religious broadcaster said that President Chavez was a "terrific danger" to the US because he wanted to use his oil-rich country as "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism".

"We have the ability to take him out and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Mr Robertson told the Christian Broadcast Network's 700 Club. "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator.
"It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with," he said ...

... "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.
"It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Talk about ridiculous. What is even more ridiculous is that some conservatives are running around defending Robertson!

It's wrong for Islamic leaders to call for the murder of Americans and the assassination of our leaders; it's wrong for Christian leaders to call for murder, too. In my opinion, it's even worse for Christians to do it - while it's true that many Muslims, and the vast majority of American Muslims, are peaceful, freedom-loving people, the example provided by Muhammad in the Qur'an is not always a non-violent one, when it comes to his opponents. In contrast, somehow I don't think Christ would ever contemplate "taking out" another human being because "it's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war" and we should "get it over with." Besides which, we "don't think any oil shipments will stop." How convenient! Let's go for it! Gag me.

Luckily, the Bush Administration quickly distanced itself from Robertson's comments:

... Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, said: "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law. He's a private citizen - private citizens say all kinds of things all the time."

Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, underlined that, for all its differences with Mr Chavez, assassinating him was "not the policy of the United States Government".

Besides the weirdness and distastefulness of Robertson's remarks, this adds fuel to the whole left-wing "Christians = Taliban" clique, as well as the radical anti-war line that "all American wars are fought for oil." Why the heck did he even have to bring up oil? My guess is that he spoke without thinking. I am sure that he does a lot of good work for Christ, but ... Talk about damaging the cause.

Apparently he has developed a habit of making radical remarks:

... he has marginalised his mainstream influence with outspoken remarks in the past. These included suggesting that activist judges represented a bigger threat to America than terrorism, and that the US State Department should be blown up by a nuclear weapon.

Of course, when one evaluates crazy comments allegedly made by conservatives, one always has to factor in the distortion that the press will often go out of its way to insert in the story :)

And I don't want to leave the impression that I'm just bashing on Robertson because although he's a Christian, he's not a Catholic. Plenty of Catholic Bishops and Cardinals have run their mouths ahead of their brains. It's like the joke I heard about the memo that was sent from the Vatican to all the Cardinals:

Approved Two Step Approach to Public Relations

Step 1: Open ecclesiastical mouth.
Step 2: Insert ecclesiastical foot.

A Pontifical Commission will evaluate compliance with this policy.

Just kidding. I know Joaquin Novarro-Valls, the Pope's spokesman, is quite good at his job ;)

UPDATE: Robertson apologizes. Bravo! Check out the article, you'll see some blather from guess who - Jesse Jackson. Surprised?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I was all whaaaaaaaaaaat? when I saw this story on Drudge. Maybe his mind is going now that he's old? Shame.