Friday, November 04, 2005

Something is going on in South America and you don't know what it is. Neither do I. The NY Times probably doesn't either.

This article is a jarring bit of contradiction, illogic, misinformation, and just plain ol' Alice-in-Wonderland weirdness.

It is particularly cruel and unusual punishment for the NY Times to foist this on us first thing in the morning, before coffee is made.

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Nov. 3 - President Bush arrived in this beach resort city on Thursday night for a gathering of Western Hemisphere leaders after one of the worst weeks of his presidency, only to be greeted by strong anti-American sentiment and taunts from Venezuela's populist president, Hugo Chávez.

Mr. Chávez, who has repeatedly accused the Bush administration of trying to assassinate him and invade his oil-producing country,...

Let's stop right there. Didn't

  • The US previously help out an attempt to oust Chávez?

  • Didn't the US pick fights with Iraq, China, Syria, Canada, ...under Bush's watch?

So it's not like it's just something Chávez is saying, is it? Even if he's paranoid, he probably has real enemies?

Mr. Bush and Mr. Chávez are expected to see each other Friday in a group session at the opening of the Summit of the Americas, a two-day, 34-nation gathering. The meeting is officially to focus on creating jobs and promoting democracy. But Mr. Chávez said this week that his main goal at the meeting was the "final burial" of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas accord, which is already stalled....

Chávez's main goal is not a contraction on "creating jobs and promoting democracy" as I see it. After the experience of countries in that area under "globalization" - say Argentina- it's clear that sometimes jobs and democracy depend on some limits to globalization.

Mr. Bush did not denounce a longstanding request from Mr. Chávez that the Argentine government build a nuclear reactor in Venezuela for energy production.

"I guess if I were a taxpayer in Venezuela, I would wonder about the energy supply that Venezuela has," Mr. Bush said in an interview at the White House on Tuesday with a group of reporters from Latin American publications. "But maybe it makes sense." Mr. Bush added that "it's the first I've heard of it."

As everyone knows, Mr. Bush is the big Daddy who lets his teenager client states drive the nuclear car if they're good teenagers.

A little more than 24 hours later, Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, appeared to backtrack when he noted that Mr. Chávez had asked a number of countries to build a nuclear reactor in Venezuela, and that he was far from a deal.

"I think that's because people recognize that it would be problematic for Chávez to be in the nuclear business, if you will," Mr. Hadley said, adding that "this trip, this summit, is not about Hugo Chávez."

Mr. Hadley? Did he have a role in Treasongate?

And in true, he-said, she-said Times fashion:

At a parallel "People's Summit" in Mar del Plata on Thursday, organized by a coalition of left-wing, indigenous and antiglobalization groups, American proposals on free trade also came in for criticism, as did Mr. Bush himself.

"We Said No and No Means No: No to Bush, No to F.T.A.A. and No to Repaying the Debt," read one large banner at the conference, held in a group of tents and classrooms on the campus of a local university. Several thousand people attended.

I don't suppose folks in the White House want to paint "the mean bullies are ganging up on Dear Leader" picture. Might get him a bump in the polls.

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