As Hollywood director Oliver Stone releases his pro-Hugo Chavez film, “South of the Border,” the Socialist International (SI) reports that the oil-rich Venezuelan ruler is suppressing dissent, interfering with freedom of the press, mismanaging the economy, and threatening peace in the region.
The SI report includes a description of the Chavez regime as a “democradura”—a democratic dictatorship.
The SI is an international alliance of 170 left-of-center political parties and organizations that might be expected to defend the Chavez regime. But its report confirms all of the charges that critics have been making about the would-be dictator. What’s more, it says that Chavez’s policies are hurting the very people he claims to represent—the poor—through schemes that are undermining economic growth and costing jobs.
In other words, Chavez is demonstrating, once again, that socialism doesn’t work.
Following the release of the report, the Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean issued a statement expressing “concern with regard to the respect for human rights and democratic freedoms” in Venezuela and calling for the release of political prisoners there.
Chavez is a hero of “progressives” who support Obama and staff his administration. For example, Mark Lloyd, the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has publicly praised Hugo Chavez and the Marxist revolution in Venezuela.
Other supporters of the regime include Mark Weisbrot of the George Soros-supported Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and Tariq Ali, a British Pakistani associated with the Institute for Policy Studies, also based in Washington, D.C.
Weisbrot and Ali wrote the screenplay for the Oliver Stone film about Chavez.
The Chavez Treatment
Robert McChesney, the Marxist co-founder of the Free Press, another George Soros-funded group that has supplied personnel to the Obama Administration, praised the film, saying, “I enjoyed it a great deal.” McChesney’s Free Press has argued for transforming the media in the U.S. in much the same way that Chavez has done so in Venezuela.
Unfortunately for acolytes of Chavez, the Stone film has proven to be too slanted even for the New York Times to accept as a “documentary.” Larry Rohter’s Times article, “Oliver Stone’s Latin America,” points out several factual inaccuracies and other “discrepancies” in the film, as well as Stone’s inability to correctly pronounce Chavez’s last name.
One of Stone’s sources, the article points out, is the husband of a Chavez government employee who misrepresents the facts about a coup attempt against Chavez in 2002 and helps run an “information” service paid for by the Chavez government.
The report of the SI mission is based on a trip to the country in January and finds that Chavez produced an inflation rate of 30 percent in 2009, “the highest on the continent.” The result of Chavez’s policies, the SI report adds, is “an arbitrary and often incompetent centralized management [that] has had disastrous results on an economic level, with serious social repercussions, in particular for the poorest individuals.”
Since the end of 2008, the country is in a “deepening recession” and the industrial sector has lost 36 percent of its companies, “with a corresponding reduction in jobs,” the report says.
But the regime has been more competent in suppressing dissent. “Violence, threats, intimidation, insecurity, uncertainty and instability of laws and procedures constitute the framework of society” under Chavez, it asserts.
The SI mission found “a climate of insecurity and fear” in the country that is specifically focused on the college and university campuses, where “a spirit of critical thought amongst younger generations” is being actively discouraged and suppressed by the regime.
Students have been helping lead the domestic opposition to the Chavez government.
The SI is publicly committed to “democratic socialism” and clearly finds the Chavez style of socialism to be at variance with democratic processes of free and fair elections, freedom of expression, and even “social justice.”
All of this directly contradicts the theme of the Oliver Stone movie about Chavez and his Latin American supporters.
The SI was particularly concerned that an “official trade union” manual for “workers’ education” in Venezuela openly endorses violence by quoting Marx as saying that “violence is the means for the implementation of modern societies.”
Although the SI is a global socialist movement, it finds that the Chavez regime has moved too far and too fast in the socialist direction, subverting democratic procedures while seizing a “whole series of strategic products and services, such as oil, electricity, steel, construction, agro-industry, telecommunications and the banking sector.”
The results have also been terrible for human rights and freedom.
Members of the SI mission to Venezuela report that the Chavez regime is regarded domestically as “an authoritarian mechanism of a new type,” a government with a “democratic origin” which has become “in reality authoritarian.” Another word for it is “democradura,” democratic dictatorship.
Venezuelans told the SI commission that the regime uses the elements of governmental power to impose its will on the populace and intimidate and silence those who resist. They used terms like “criminalization of dissent,” “revolutionary constitutionalism,” and “terror and corruption.”
Chavez is accomplishing this through the use of government power to stage new takeovers of private businesses, new governmental entities answerable to Chavez, and manipulation of election laws to disadvantage opposition political parties and groups.
While the Venezuelan authorities tolerate “certain areas of freedom,” the report says, these are “reduced in number and reach” and “limited to sectors that do not affect the public at large, the popular masses, or the poorest sectors of society.” The areas of freedom are limited to intellectuals “and a limited section of the middle class,” but even here the major newspapers are “closely monitored and threatened with disruption of its paper supply” if they criticize the regime too much, the report discloses.
In foreign policy, the SI report accuses Chavez of “a policy of confrontation” with neighboring Colombia, under assault by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and “the importation of the Middle East conflict,” an obvious reference to his dealings with Iran and willingness to act on behalf of the interests of the fanatical anti-Israeli and anti-American regime. All of this presents “serious risks to regional stability and a threat to peace” in Latin America, the report says.
It is a known fact that the Chavez regime has also been active collaborating with the communist narco-terrorists known as FARC. But Oliver Stone’s collaborator, Mark Weisbrot, who co-wrote the screenplay for “South of the Border” with Tariq Ali, appeared on Robert McChesney’s public radio show to insist that all of these charges against Chavez are nonsense.
McChesney interviewed Weisbrot on his “Media Matters” radio show on WILL AM 580 in Urbana, Illinois, and they agreed that the U.S. media have given Chavez a “horrible press” by unfairly depicting him as a dictator, oligarch and friend of terrorists.
The other “South of the Border” screenwriter, Tariq Ali, is the British Pakistani author of Bush in Babylon: The Recolonization of Iraq, whose cover depicts a boy in Iraq urinating on the head of an American soldier. An earlier book was titled, Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope, about Evo Morales of Bolivia, Fidel Castro of Cuba and Chavez.
Blogger and researcher Trevor Loudon notes that, in addition to having a long-time affiliation with the Institute for Policy Studies, Ali was elected in 2007 to the board of the U.S. based Movement for a Democratic Society with former Weather Underground terrorists Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd and Jeff Jones.
Dohrn and her husband, Obama associate and former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers, have direct connections to Chavez through their son, Chesa Boudin, who actually worked in the presidential palace in Venezuela. Ayers and Dohrn traveled to Venezuela in 2005 and Ayers, now a University of Illinois education professor, went in 2006 to speak at a government-sanctioned “World Educational Forum.”
Asked by the New York Times to explain the factual problems in the film and the failure to acknowledge honest criticism of the Chavez regime’s human rights record, Ali told the Times that “It’s hardly a secret that we support the other side. It’s an opinionated documentary.”
But it’s opinion with no basis in fact.
“Rabbi Live” Turns Sights on Obama
By Roger Aronoff
Rabbi David Nesenoff has given Accuracy in Media the most detailed account yet of how his encounter with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas caused him to reevaluate not only his view of the media, but of the White House and President Obama.
Nesenoff is a self-described liberal Democrat who used to think Obama should be given a chance to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. Now he worries about the existence of the state of Israel.
He says he is increasingly troubled by the failure of Obama to speak forcefully about the right of Israel to exist, at a time when some of the country’s neighbors are more determined than ever to destroy it.
Thomas said the Jews ought to “get the hell out of Palestine” and presumably turn the land over to the Arabs and Muslims. She also said they should return to countries like Germany and Poland, where the Holocaust took place, which ultimately led to the creation of the Jewish homeland in Israel.
The Thomas interview was posted on YouTube and eventually given attention in the U.S. and around the globe.
Nesenoff tells AIM that he has learned a lesson in a personal way—that anti-Semitism is alive and well. He says he has felt the brunt of it as a result of exposing Thomas.
He explained, “It kind of rocked my world a little, because I have to kind of reevaluate my life and my standing and the agendas, because I’m a New York Democrat, Jewish, liberal, supporter of Obama, [and] donated to his candidacy for a year.”
He said he came to believe in Obama because the media constantly said “give him a chance.” But now he questions the media and Obama’s policy toward Israel, even though the Obama White House denounced Thomas’s comments.
Personally, the rabbi was surprised at the venomous emails he received and attacks in the media against him. After all, he didn’t take Helen Thomas’s words out of context and he didn’t suggest or urge that she be fired or resign.
Clearly angry, he said, “They want to make me out to be a racist—how dare they! How silly is that? How stupid of them, how buffoonish of them to call themselves journalists and not use the luxury of this beautiful media of [the] Internet in a responsible fashion.”
All of this stems from a chance encounter that Thomas had with Nesenoff and his son on the grounds of the White House on May 27th.
Nesenoff and his son and a friend were there for a White House ceremony honoring Jewish Heritage Week. Both the father and son have blogs, and they were asking people on camera for their views of Israel.
They openly had a camera as Helen Thomas passed by. He simply asked the question, “Any comments on Israel?”
Nesenoff’s initial reaction was shock but he thought that other people might not regard it that way. He called up a reporter at a Jewish newspaper about the comments and was told this was nothing new from Thomas.
Nevertheless, he still thought it was newsworthy and waited for his son to post the interview on YouTube and his website, RABBIlive.com. It was only then, more than a week later, that word about the video—and the video—got out, creating a storm of controversy.
The media consensus was that the comments reflected Thomas’s differences with Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East, and that this was nothing new.
But Nesenoff argues that her comments are new—and that they are not just anti-Israel but anti-Semitic. The distinction he makes is that by stating it to be a controversy over policy towards Israel, the media miss the point that she is making, which is that the Jews don’t belong in Israel, and that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
He argues that, to call for the Jews to leave Israel, after they have sought and found refuge there after the Holocaust, in addition to those who were already there, constitutes unmistakable hatred for the Jewish people as a whole.
Thomas’s defenders offered various excuses for her hateful comments. We were told that it was hot that day, that she is no longer a reporter but a columnist, that she is 89 years old, and that she really didn’t mean that all Jews should leave Israel.
Her words speak for themselves.
Thomas resigned her position with the Hearst newspapers and then issued a statement saying, “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”
In fact, her statement was not an apology but rather a justification of her previous remarks. Her criticism of Israel for what she sees as its lack of “respect and tolerance” for the Palestinians was consistent with what she sees as Israel’s “brutal occupation.” She has made it clear which side she thinks is at fault, and which side has the right to exist. She wants the Jews to leave “Palestine” and turn it over to the Arabs and Muslims.
Nesenoff believes with justification that this is about anti-Semitism, not just having anti-Israeli views.
He makes the point that the Jewish state can be justified by religious scriptures or by the U.N. resolution which created it. In any case, Israel is here—and here for a reason. And to advocate that the Jews leave, or be eliminated, as Iran’s president would prefer, is hard-core anti-Semitism at this point in history.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, the rabbi talked about how he became the issue and was accused “of being some right-wing ambusher.” He explained that he was a liberal Obama supporter who was just trying to tape comments on the Jews and Israel.
But now that he has seen through the liberal media agenda, and where their sympathies lie, he is reviewing not only his view of the media but of Obama, their hero.
At least as it relates to Israel, Rabbi Nesenoff seemed to miss the days of President George W. Bush, who pursued policies in various areas that he rejected but always maintained a pro-Israel stance.
“I was in Israel a few years ago, during that Lebanon war,” he recalled. “And I remember sitting in a hotel room, watching the television, and I saw President Bush get on television. And no matter what I had, feelings about different things with his administration, I was in tears because I saw the only leader in the world get on world television, as I’m sitting in a country at war, and say, ‘Israel has the right to exist, and Israel has the right to defend herself, and we won’t stop her.’”
He doesn’t see this pro-Israel view in the Obama White House.
Now that Thomas is out of the White House press corps, Nesenoff says there should be a review of “everything she’s ever reported on, and make corrections, because now we know what glasses she was wearing.”
Indeed, how could somebody with the views of Thomas rise to a position of prominence in the U.S. media?
Several high-profile conservatives, including two Fox News personalities, have embraced the gay rights cause. Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and Fox News contributors Tucker Carlson and Margaret Hoover have enlisted in the campaign to normalize homosexual behavior.
Demonstrating where this ominous trend may lead, the British Conservative Party, which now rules Britain in conjunction with the far-left Liberal Democrats, has not only embraced the gay rights agenda but has just announced that convictions for homosexuals who had sex with men and boys then under the age of consent will be erased from criminal records. In Britain, the age of consent has been steadily lowered from 21 to 18 and now to 16.
Norquist has joined Hoover on the advisory council of GOProud, a so-called “gay conservative” group whose chairman, Christopher R. Barron, has a history of working for “centrist Republicans.” Hoover says on her Facebook page that she is “psyched” to join the group with Norquist and has denied that she is a RINO (Republican in name only).
For his part, Carlson is the scheduled dinner speaker at a September meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of militant homosexuals who have gone so far as to file suit against the Pentagon’s policy of excluding open and active homosexuals from military service.
Since conservatism is supposed to be about respecting our founders and founding documents, let the record show that homosexuality was regarded as a crime against nature at the time of our founding as a nation and it was prohibited in the states and the military.
Spotlight on the Media
By Zubi Diamond, author of Wizards of Wall Street
Our media reported that new home sales have dropped by 33 percent. The unemployment picture is not improving. The stimulus bill did not work. What is happening to our economy?
We will never recover from this crisis until the 7-point action plan is implemented. My recommendations include restricting short sale transactions, ending mark-to-market accounting completely, restoring the old financial market circuit breakers, and restoring the old uptick rule without any modification. These changes will protect invested capital and save the capitalist system.
The elected officials and the big media lent deaf ears to my analysis and forecasts. But everything I predicted is unfolding before our very eyes.
But brace yourself: the worst is yet to come unless my recommendations are implemented completely.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says the U.S, can no longer drive global growth. What does this mean?
Answering a question on the BBC, Geithner said that the administration is now taking steps to come out with better growth outcomes across the global economy.
Translation: The administration has purposely hamstrung U.S. economic growth as a way to burst the bubble of America’s supremacy. The financial reform bill carries this process forward by suppressing the capitalist spirit, business freedom, and economic growth.
They do not want America to be the global economic leader anymore. They will “redistribute” America’s greatness to other economies, namely China and Russia, to achieve a balance of power by transferring our technology and technological advantage to them.
The Chinese are already good at practicing capitalism. It is the source of wealth creation, through which they sustain their socialism.
What they and the Russians need more than anything else is our technology and our know-how and ability to innovate. They want our technology and our technological innovation. Barack Obama wants them to have it. And he is giving it to them. The transfer process is occurring as we speak.
America’s technology companies will go to Russia and China and build a Silicon Valley for them with Chinese and Russian workers in the factories learning, studying, and copying from the Americans after which when they acquire the knowledge, they will kick the Americans out.
Obama is carrying the water for George Soros and the MFA. He is lobbying the European world leaders to continue stimulus spending, borrowing and printing more money to replace the $11 trillion that has been looted from the U.S. economy, as well as an additional $3 trillion looted from our European allies and world economy, for a total of $14 trillion.
The final outcome of all this unsustainable spending and debt will be the collapse of the global capitalist system, the collapse of America and her European allies preceded by the greatest stock market crash of all time.
The Dow will collapse to 2000. It will be the “I have fallen and I can’t get up” level.
Unless corrective action is taken and taken fast, George Soros will prevail in his quest for the destruction of the global capitalist system.