Chavez and the World opinion of the U.S.

In International politics, International Trade on September 25, 2006 at 12:11 am

This past week, many media outlets and politicians joined forces in defending Bush and the U.S. after comments that were made at the UN by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.  While much of this “defense” ended up looking more like offense and name calling, people are missing out on the bigger picture, which is that Chavez’s remarks reflect much of what the rest of the world has been feeling or is starting to feel.

The Washington Post ran an article about these sentiments, which stated the following:

Anti-Americanism never really left the United Nations, but this year’s gathering of world leaders demonstrated an unusually strident disrespect for the United States. The United States is perceived as weakened by a draining war in Iraq, while many of its adversaries feel emboldened with newfound oil wealth.

Resentment of American power has also been exacerbated by the United States’ close association with Israel during the recent war in Lebanon and even the administration’s campaign for greater democracy throughout the Middle East. A theme running through a number of the speeches delivered here is that democracy cannot be imposed through force…

As Chavez put it in his fiery speech, which was greeted by wild applause in the chamber: “They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that’s their democratic model. It’s the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that’s imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons. What a strange democracy. . . . What type of democracy do you impose with Marines and bombs?”

The rising anger at American policies comes as some U.S. officials privately acknowledge that they feel stymied on many international fronts: The war in Iraq is going poorly, the drive for sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program has faltered, the disarmament talks with North Korea are all but dead, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is frozen, and the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region seems unsolvable.

According to the article, world leaders from Iran, Egypt, Bolivia, and other countires expressed similar ideas and distaste for U.S. Foreign policy, all of which was was greeted by applause.  So instead of responding to these remarks by counter-attacking and calling Chavez names like “El Loco,” maybe newspapers like the NY Post and Daily News should do some self reflection on the state of the U.S. and its foreign policy, because the egotistical arrogant attitude sure isn’t working.

  1. i found a complete transcript of the Chavez speech at the link below. He says some very interesting and important things. It’s worth a read.


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