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Those Who Harbor Terrorists

August 25, 2005
By Bucky Rea

The GW Bush doctrine of preventive war provides all the reasons that Hugo Chavez and Venezuela need to attack, invade, and occupy Virginia. (Note: I specify the "GW Bush doctrine" to distinguish it from the prior GHW Bush doctrine, the one that states it would be insane to get bogged down in a military occupation of Iraq.)

For, although Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has denounced the Reverend Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez at least as vociferously as the Taliban government denounced the attacks of 9/11, it's pretty clear to me that the United States would not be willing to turn Robertson over to Venezuelan authorities.

But, you may be thinking, Pat Robertson has only made a terroristic threat against the sovereign government of Venezuela by advocating the murder of Hugo Chavez - he didn't actually carry out those threats.

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson caused heartburn in Washington and consternation in Latin America on Tuesday in calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war," Robertson said during Monday evening's broadcast of "The 700 Club," his Christian news-talk television show. "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."

But why should Venezuela sit around and wait to respond only after the terrorists have struck? That would be madness. Any sane application of President Bush's doctrine of preventive wars against states that harbor potential terrorists would thoroughly justify Venezuela attacking Virginia.

I mean, shoot, for all we know, Robertson could be harboring weapons of mass destruction right now. You can be damn sure he's not gonna allow any U.N. weapons inspectors onto his 700 Club compound. And just because there's no evidence that Robertson has an active WMD program, doesn't mean you can prove he hasn't got them.

He certainly has a history both of consorting with brutal dictators (such as Liberia's Charles Taylor) and of threatening to bring massive destruction on his neighbors with secret weapons - like that time he tried to pray a hurricane into destroying Massachusetts.

Robertson represents a truly unique and dangerous threat to world peace. If Venezuela's allies will not stand by her in this darkest hour, that country still has every right to go it alone and secure its democracy from this threat.

Someone please prove me wrong in this. I personally don't have a lot of regard for Mr. Chavez - he's a screwloose egomaniac tanking his country's economy in the guise of social reform. He actively undermines his own country's democratic traditions while playing economic footsie with the Saudis. Hmmm, why does this all sound so familiar?

Still, like him or not, Chavez is a duly elected president of a sovereign country. When you issue threats against his life, you've got to be breaking some law. By any standard, it is an act of terrorism that Robertson is openly inciting.

At the very least, Chavez would be fully justified in dispatching his armed forces to take this religious extremist, terror-mongering, dictator-coddling, international bandit out of the picture. Mr Bush provided the precedent for this in 2003. And now freedom's on the march.

Bucky Rea writes the Brown Bag Blog and teaches world history and geography in Houston, Texas.

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