Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Worrying times

The Leiter Reports carries an item about the influential US Republican religious leader Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of the Venezuelan president.

Most of Robertson's argument is incoherent but one part of his meandering and hysteric logic seems particularly odd: "This is in our sphere of influence. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced," he announces portentously. Where exactly is not in America's "sphere of influence" nowadays? China, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Today's Guardian report comments 'Mr Robertson, 75, ....has become increasingly idiosyncratic with advancing age.' and whilst one might question whether age has anything to do with his long record of appalling political statements, the following included in theG report do put the Chavez declaration into context:
'Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off Foggy Bottom to shake things up', referring to the 'den of liberals at the State Department.
And, referring to liberal judges being a worst long-term threat than al-Qaida, 'I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings'
Capped by his belief that feminism encourages women to 'kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.'..and there lies buried his REAL enemy - the threat to capitalism!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the times are not quite so worrying. Seems Robertson has made a very rapid retreat. I suppose the fuss over this has made it a tiny bit harder for the CIA to get on with its normal business with South American lefties:

New York Times.

Robertson Apologizes but Says He Was 'Misinterpreted'

Published: August 24, 2005

The Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson issued a statement today apologizing for his televised remarks calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

"Is it right to call for assassination?" he said in the statement. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

But Mr. Robertson was far from apologetic on his television show today, instead insisting that he had been been "misinterpreted" by The Associated Press and that he had never used the word "assassination."

"I said our special forces should 'take him out.' 'Take him out' could be a number of things, including kidnapping," Mr. Robertson told his audience on the show "The 700 Club" today.

The video from Monday's telecast, easily available on the internet, shows Mr. Robertson saying of the Venezuelan president: "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." Mr. Robertson went on at length about Mr. Chávez, suggesting that "covert operatives" could "do the job and then get it over with."

Political and religious leaders continued to denounce Mr. Robertson today. The World Evangelical Alliance issued a statement saying, "Robertson does not speak for evangelical Christians. We believe in justice and the protection of human rights of all people, including the life of President Chavez."

On Tuesday, Mr. Robertson's comments were denounced by both the State Department and by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. In Caracas, Mr. Robertson was criticized by the vice president of Venezuela, and in Havana by President Fidel Castro.