Monday, May 08, 2006


Hugo Chavez, here is where my support for you comes to an abrupt halt. Putting more money into the half of your overwhelmingly poor population--I'm with you. Building a pan-American alliance against corporate concentrations of power, yeah, I dig it.

But asking for a 25-year gig as "President"?

No sir.

On the other hand, he is asking. That's more than I can say about the President of Kazakhstan, whom Vice-President Dick Cheney this weekend. Cheney had some high praise for Kazakhstan's president.

To wit:
Asked at the news conference how he would evaluate Kazakhstan's record on democracy, Cheney noted his admiration for "all that's been accomplished in the last 15 years, both in the economic and the political realm."
Yes, why the state department classifies their human rights record as 'poor'.

But back to that meeting with the President of Kazakhstan:
The vice president and Nazarbayev held unexpectedly long talks, first spending more than an hour and a quarter together with only interpreters present, then sitting down with aides.
Well, I wonder, I wonder whatever they did talk about. Oh yeah:
Among them, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher told Congress recently, the United States is "working on securing the flow of oil" from North Caspian oil fields by tanker to a pipeline terminus in Azerbaijan. That route would bypass Russia and Iran . There has also been periodic talk of building a pipeline under the Caspian Sea.
Of course. So we condemn Hugo Chavez for trying to implement a coup-by-popular vote, as well we should. So a pox on his house. But in Central Asia, nary a peep. When I was in college I sported a hand-scrawled patch on my bookbag that read "My kids and my dollars go to Central Asia." I thought I was being cute. I guess I was just being prescient.

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