TALE of TWO DESPOTS
By Micah Halpern
Wednesday September 9, 2009
One wears tailored suits, the other wears leisure suits. One wears silk ties, the other sports open colors. Despite their apparent differences, they are cut of the same cloth.
Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad despise everything Western. Most of their venom is aimed at anything emanating from the United States. Destroying the West and especially the United States is their individual and united goal. If these leaders of Venezuela and Iran cannot bring down the United States militarily, they will do everything in their collective power to do it diplomatically. It is the glue that holds this unlikely pair together. It is the reason that Chavez has just completed his eighth visit to Iran.
The war against terror is not over, it has taken another, expanded, form. Eight years after 9/11 the West still has enemies. The United States is still being plotted against. Our enemies are not sleeping, neither should we.
Hugo Chavez, the despotic leader of Venezuela, has just concluded a four day trip to Iran. Chavez and the tyrannical Ahmadinejad smiled and shook hands for the camera. And they initiated a new set of deals that will not only propel their relationship forward but that will also, and perhaps more importantly for them, fortify a new bulwark against the United States and the West.
As part of his eleven day trip abroad Chavez also visited Libya, Syria and several European nations including Spain, Russia and Belarus. But Iran was the most important stop of all, because it was in Iran that an outright plan to topple the West was meticulously planned and proudly, publicly, proclaimed.
It goes without saying that Venezuela is wholeheartedly in favor or a nuclear Iran and will do everything to support it and make it happen. Chavez publicly praised Iran for standing up the United States and not giving in to US "blackmail." That alone would be unsettling, not threatening. The plan, in their own translated words, has Chavez and Ahmadinejad creating a "multi polar world" to confront US influence. As Chavez so succinctly put it, we are "facing the same enemy, which is the U.S. empire and its lackeys. And we will defeat the empire and its lackeys."
Those are fighting words. This is not wishful thinking or even grandstanding. Chavez and Ahmadinejad have a plan and they are about to implement that plan. Three agreements, building blocks for the plan, emerged from this trip.
The first is the creation of a mutual Iranian-Venezuelan bank in Caracas with an already pledged $200 million dedicated to mutual investment.
The second is a promise by Chavez to export 20,000 barrels of refined oil to Iran every day. That agreement sidesteps the pressure that the United States was planning to bring upon all potential local oil suppliers to Iran.
The third is the decision to mutually dedicate $750 million towards sharing energy technology.
Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are serious. The objective is to unseat the United States as the most significant diplomatic and economic power in the world. During a press conference broadcast on Iranian TV Chavez, standing alongside Ahmadinejad, proclaimed that our "important mission is to help the oppressed and revolutionary nations and to expand the anti-imperialist front in the world." The oppressed and revolutionary nations are other, smaller nations united in their distrust of the United States, aka the imperialist front.
They will use existing organizations like the United Nations and the Nonaligned Pact, a group of 118 nations who are, by their very definition, at odds with the United States, to achieve their ends. The vast majority of UN members are against the US policy. During the upcoming General Assembly we will see will see Venezuela and Iran coddle up to those nations and convince them to support their plan.
No, the war on terror has not ended. It has just taken a deeply disturbing turn. Sticks and stones won't break the United States or the West, but these words are sending a loud and clear message.
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