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Iraq’s WMD and Venezuela’s welfare

By Aleksander Boyd

London 03.02.04 – The world is a convoluted place these days; globalization, social inequalities, wars, terrorism, unemployment, GM foods, human cloning in sum a corollary of problems definitely not for the faint-hearted. Almost a year ago the leader of the world’s superpower decided that it was fitting to invade Iraq and perform a prophylactic regime change. Saddam Hussein constituted a formidable threat to the peace and stability of the Western nations and needed to be ousted swiftly. Iraq’s WMD arsenal was aiming at Madrid, London and New York and so immediate action had to be taken. After much red tape, paperwork and diplomacy the “coalition” composed by the USA, the UK and Spain decided to launch a war on terror for the ominous enemy could have stroke again…

A year has elapsed, Iraq is in a sorry state [worse than a year ago], more and more innocents continue to die on a daily basis, terrorist groups far from being eradicated, as originally planned, are popping up everywhere and the WMD are nowhere to be found, lest of course one looks into Tony Blair’s mind. Now the issue of WMD is not one which will fade away easily. Opinion polls the world over show that everyone is very much concerned with the thought of America, and servile friends, having manipulated intelligence reports to justify pre-emptive actions. The question in everyone’s head is, where are the WMD? Iraq’s landscape, for the most of it, is desert meaning that there are not natural obstacles that could hinder the search for the WMD yet these remain elusive, invisible and undetectable.

Venezuela on the other hand is riding the wave of the future. President Hugo Chavez has performed a miracle, a social revolution; he has converted the country in a success model to be followed by all. His achievements are so far reaching that intellectuals of great calibre, such as Don King, are lauding him. Venezuelan citizens have all the reasons to be happier than ever. Controlled inflation, full employment, crime rate near zero, high productivity levels, unparalleled industrial capacity, progressive foreign policy, diminishing external and internal debt, augmenting energy-market share, innovative agricultural plans and an extraordinary education system -just to name a few of the achievements- have turned Venezuela into a paradise. Immigrants and investors are flocking the country’s shores.

Advocates of the revolution, leftists living in capitalist states that is, are making use of the same techniques employed by Bush & Co to sell their story. It is not a question of perception but rather one of political ideology; if one spouses socialist and anti-capitalist doctrines one must support Venezuela’s president for he represents the last bastion of the left, furthermore he is the successor of Fidel Castro. Tony Blair is a despicable creature in the eyes of the aforementioned lot owing to the weight he places upon his convictions, whether founded or not, which in turn result in an inconsiderate behaviour towards those who do not agree with him. This begs for the question, how different are the defendants of Hugo Chavez of Blair? Are they not basing their stance merely in deeply held convictions which are totally divorced from reality?

Economy Professor Emeritus Michael Lebowitz suggests that all power should be given to the rabble… Ph.D. in economics Mark Weisbrot tells us that PDVSA has been mismanaged all these years, alas he missed a couple of points. Richard Gott explores the nature of the Venezuelan opposition, and Ignacio Ramonet –leaned on the perspicacious mind of Maurice Lemoine- calls out on European socialists to defend Hugo Chavez. The obvious issue is that these gentlemen share a passion for Marx, leftist ideals, the welfare state, workers struggle, they hate capitalism and globalisation -yet they all enjoy its benefits- hence it would be foolish to believe that some sort of criticism towards their ideology's saviour will ever be heard.

What is the agglutinating element in this universal support? I’d say petrodollars others digress and focus on political stances. Nonetheless what matters most is that the welfare of the country has gone hiding with Iraq’s WMD. Five years into Chavez' mandate the layman cannot say that his conditions have improved. Can anyone please put a finger on Chavez' achievements?

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