Sunday, March 22, 2009

Obama Ignorant, Exporting Terrorism: Chavez Says So

From some of tonight's news, you'd think George W. Bush was still in office.

"CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela called President Obama 'ignorant' on Sunday, saying he has a lot to learn about Latin America.

"Mr. Chávez said he had been ready to name a new ambassador in Washington, but put it on hold after the new American president accused him of 'exporting terrorism' and being an obstacle to progress in the region...." (AP, via The New York Times)

President Hugo Chávez and the American Exporter of Terrorist

Does that "ignorant" epithet sound familiar? It should. People who aren't in line with some political views are "ignorant" - according to those who are convinced that their views are the only possible ones. Other adjectives get used, too, like "irresponsible," but "ignorant" seems quite popular.

As for what Chávez (Chavez, for those who don't have extended fonts) says, part of it is true. I'm sure that President Obama doesn't know everything there is to know about Latin America. To some extent, I think everyone is ignorant in the sense that each of us lacks omniscience, even in relatively restricted areas of knowledge.

The rest: nothing new here, except this time it's Obama in the White House.

There is a debatable point in Chavez' complaints about President Obama. Cuba isn't invited to the 5th annual Summit of The Americas in Trinidad and Tobago this April. Hugo Chavez says Cuba should be there.

In a way, with a careful selection of facts, he's got a point. Cuba has a very stable government: Cuba's only had two leaders since 1959, both Fidel's and Raul's title was "President," and Cuba has elections. So, someone could say that Cuba is a stable democracy. I think that person would be missing a few vital points, but that's another matter.

I think this news is interesting, but not important.

About two and a half millennia back, Heraclitus said: "Nothing endures but change." These days, you might be more likely to hear, "the more things change, the more they stay the same," but I'd say that Heraclitus still has a point. ("The more things change..." is attributed to Alphonse Karr. What he actually wrote was "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.")

Calling someone "ignorant" because he or she doesn't agree with you has been common all my life, and doesn't show any signs of fading away.

More-or-less related posts: In the news:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.