Turns out Hugo Chávez still wants to go to North Korea, but Pyongyang seems to be playing hard to get. Could Kim Jong Il bear to sit around a table with an even bigger megalomaniac than him? We can only hope...GOD I want that picture!
Chávez also took the chance to reaffirm his "strategic brotherhood" (?!) with Iran and, obviously, to blame the US for the latest Middle East crisis. Certainly the American refusal to make even a ritual exhortation for peace is pretty appalling. But trying to pin the entire blame for this tragedy on one side or the other is plainly childish. The US is just about as guilty of this as Chávez, with his sophomore-leftie-style rant exonerating Hamas and Hezbollah of any responsibility at all for the war they conciously provoked and his failure to notice that the missiles that have been raining on the north of the Zionist Entit...erm, Israel are made in Tehran.
Faced with a complex diplomatic situation, Chavez's instincts are tiresomely predictable: find out the US position, then argue the diametrical opposite, whatever the facts. His blithe embrace of indefensible overstatements underlines the guy's basic irresponsibility: "it's the Israeli Army," he said, "that is bombing entire cities, a real genocide, how far this madness will go only God knows."
First of all, there's this "entire cities" business. The contrast between Israel's deliberate targetting of relevant military objectives and Hezbollah's perverse pride in the indiscriminate nature of its attacks is all too evident. With the Israeli Air Force dropping leaflets to warn civilians to evacuate areas they are about to strike, Chavez's suggestion that it's the Israeli campaign that is indiscriminate must count as a grotesque reversal.
Then there's the sheer indefensibility (not to mention extreme bad taste) of the "real genocide" line. So far, 300 Lebanese civilians have died in a week of air raids. That's 300 too many - but think of it this way: Lebanon has suffered 43 fatalities per day so far, and that's just about the same number of deaths we see in Venezuela on any given day, just from street crime. Venezuelan choros don't even need military weaponry to launch their own little tropical "genocide", but somehow that doesn't get Chavez's juices flowing...
Which brings us back to an old topic: the proof of the anti-semitic pudding is in the eating. Who Chavez thinks killed Christ is a side-show. The smoking gun is Chávez's active, ongoing, diplomatic and material support of a holocaust-denying regime that espouses an ideology laden with extreme, explicit anti-semitism and looks forward with glee to the destruction of the State of Israel, whether through proxies or nukes.