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Going soft on Chavez

By A.M. Mora y Leon | The American Thinker

11.09.05 | With the lonely pathetic exception of the New York Times, editorial pages across the country are unified in warning America about the danger posed by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to his own country and our entire hemisphere. It's not just the Wall Street Journal, the New York Sun, and Investor's Business Daily. It's across the board - the warnings are from newspapers like the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post.

Facts are facts about the tyrannical nature of the Chavez regime in Venezuela and in the past year, we have seen a stunning and rare unity on editorial pages.

But one editorial page seems to be going soft. The Los Angeles Times does still grasp the totalitarian nature of the Chavez regime, as it laudably has in the past. But even as it names the string of Mugabe-style confiscations happening right now in Venezuela, it makes a curious recommendation: that we tolerate and neglect Chavez ... and do nothing.

They may be softening because Chavez has sent emissaries to visit the Los Angeles Times editorial page staff this past summer to persuade them to soften their editorial line. But the paper is not changing its facts, which it continues to report accurately, something the Chavistas want whitewashed on their propaganda lines.

The Los Angeles Times, instead, seems to be hampered by its own liberalism, its own politics of weakness. In this editorial, they note that the U.S. has not been successful at containing Chavez no matter what it does. Therefore, it needs to stop trying.

It never occurs to them that the U.S. needs to try harder and better. One reason for the rise of Chavez is that the U.S. has been preoccupied in Iraq and has barely been paying attention to the evolving nightmare across our own Gulf. That's not trying - it's weakness.

There are far better solutions than the wimpy 'ignore-him' - a tyrant of that danger - advice the LAT puts forward.

The Wall Street Journal came out with a strong piece by Mary Anastasia O'Grady on Friday, explaining that the U.S. needs to call Chavez's bluff, not act intimidated by him with all his oil. If the U.S. cuts off oil from Venezuela, it's Chavez who's going to have a problem, not us, the Journal argues.

Carlos Alberto Montaner makes a compelling argument about America's need to develop alternative energy to break the oil stranglehold that Chavez and other oil tyrants have, and to do it soon. Lower oil prices will put Chavez in a spider hole.

Alek Boyd of VCrisis has a new essay out about the importance of the U.S. using its advantages as it allures Chavistas. One way would be to target Chavista perks like bank accounts and visas for shopping sprees in the U.S., something, which if withdrawn from the essentially mercenary Chavista elite, will break up and weaken the Chavista political machine.

But all of those proposed courses of action, from positions of strength, seem to elude the liberal LAT, whose best advice is to do nothing.

How badly they are misreading events.

The LAT is still to be praised for not compromising on facts, but it's got to read those facts it writes and seriously think about them. A monster is growing in our hemisphere. The U.S. cannot make him go away by ignoring him.

On 9/11, remember that that's how bin Ladens are born.



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