Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Devil Went Down to JFK: The W Strikes Back

WASHINGTON DC--It appears George W. Bush got-even yesterday for Hugo Chavez's remarks at the UN. Or not. In recent-months, the State Department has been harrassing Venezuelan-diplomats, including the impounding of a 'diplomatic cargo' (nothing illicit was found). This is a violation of diplomatic immunity for representatives of governments, anywhere in the world. You cannot detain a diplomat. But he was no ordinary representative--he's Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro. Imagine what would happen if Condaleeza Rice was detained in this manner in Russia, or Egypt. Perhaps Chavez is correct in his assertion that there is a run-up to war by the Bush administration. Why?

Such an incident involving an American government minister would become an extraordinary international-event, with calls for an immediate-retaliation and sanctions of the nation-in-question. It would not surprise this writer if the Bush administration is goading Chavez into cutting oil-exportation to North America. It would have the effect of driving-up the price of a barrel of oil significantly on the world-market. It's done wonders for multinational oil-conglomerates with Iraq producing less than it did under Saddam Hussein. Maybe someday we'll get the energy-policy minutes from 2001 declassified someday.

The fact that Maduro was ordered to do a strip-search is embarrassing for America. With the revelations of Abu-Ghraib, torture in Afghani-prisons, and the gamut of violations of the Geneva conventions, America looks like the postwar bully it has been all-along. The AP-article notes a fine-point of the incident: '[Maduro] told reporters the situation only worsened when he explained he was the Venezuelan foreign minister and showed his diplomatic passport.'

Maduro has called his 90-detention a 'provocation', and he's right. The GOP wants a fight of some-kind with the Chavez government, but what form will it take in the future? Nobody knows, but it is certain to include counterintelligence and counterinsurgency activities from Columbia. America has given the Columbian government (the Cali cartel) billions in 'drug-interdiction' aid--funny that most of it is comprised of military-equipment and weaponry. Meanwhile, Chavez has been arming and assisting FARC against the oligarchs in a proxy-war (albeit a quiet one at this time).

Readers should remember that the DOS is under the authority of the Executive, and that the State Department had an interesting-role in the Maduro-incident. Maduro has stated that one-hour, and twenty-minutes into his ordeal, something strange occured:

...he received a call from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, who apologized and said State Department officials were on their way to resolve the matter.
Five minutes later, State Department officials arrived and ordered Maduro and the others to spread their arms and legs to be frisked by police, he said.

(AP, 09/24/06)

That's classic good-cop, bad-cop there. It has all the earmarks of being premeditated, doesn't it? One has to wonder what the exact chain-of-command was here, but I would wager it reaches Rove or Cheney. But it's possible the President barked it at an aide in-anger, then forgetting-it in classic Nixonian-style. Astonishing is the only-word for the temporary-detention, and it is a clear act of provocation. Was LBJ ever this embarrassing? That'll learn ya'! Canada, anyone?