Sometimes, Google Alerts do the most amazing things. Their emphasis on the right-wing falsification of the news cannot be underestimated. Partly, I think, the vast right-wing crapaganda machine is to blame, but sometimes I wonder if Google isn’t complicit. It’s either that, or they’re being gamed–and someone’s gotta call them on it. Fair and balanced they are not.
Take, for example, this charming screed by one Douglas MacKinnon, which landed in my mailbox today. It’s called, evocatively enough, “Chavez is to be shunned”:
Late last year, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez attacked me by name on his national television program. He said I was a spy for the CIA getting paid to orchestrate a propaganda campaign designed to hurt his re-election chances this December.
In reality, I’m nothing more than a private citizen married to a Venezuelan, and deeply worried about the massive militarization of Venezuela and the non-stop courting by Chavez of terrorist leaders around the world.
With those worries in mind, last Wednesday evening I turned on C-SPAN to watch a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives with regard to Chavez, terrorism, drugs and airport security. To my horror, as a native of Massachusetts, I watched as Rep. William Delahunt went out of his way to deflect attention from Chavez, his terrorist leanings and his intentions to do great harm to the United States.
Like Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Chavez has assembled his own collection of "useful idiots" here in the United States. However, as I watched Delahunt wax on in his defense of Chavez, I realized that he had gone from being a tool of Chavez to an apologist for a man the opposition in Venezuela, and many in our own government, consider on par with the likes of Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il of North Korea and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
The latter two, who, as I write this, Chavez is flying to meet.
Many I have spoken with in our government, including career diplomats, consider Chavez to be ultimately a greater threat to the national security of the United States than Osama bin Laden or any terrorist group operating out of the Middle East. Having been in Venezuela many times and having met with the opposition leaders in that country, I strongly agree with that assessment.
Again, as I write this, Chavez has just finalized a $3 billion deal with Moscow to buy 24 fighter jets and 53 attack helicopters, Russian submarines and 100,000 AK-103 Kalashnikov machine guns, and to have the Russians build him a Kalashnikov factory in Venezuela so he can manufacture his own weapons.
But, what’s that to Delahunt as long as he gets to do photo-ops delivering "cheap" Venezuelan oil to the poor of Massachusetts.
Just as I’m assuming Delahunt had no problem with Chavez hosting the president of Iran in Caracas last year, where, on the agenda, was the topic of "introducing nuclear elements" into Venezuela. While Chavez says he only wants nuclear reactors from Iran, many experts fear he is trying to import Iranian missile technology and, potentially, weapons grade uranium. All of this, a mere two-and-a-half-hours south of Miami by jet.
While Delahunt clearly has no problem collaborating with a man who denounces the United States daily as the "number one terrorist nation on earth," others, thankfully, do.
No one need take my word for it. Simply speak with those in the duly elected government of Colombia. Some will flat out tell you that they believe Chavez represents the greatest single threat to our hemisphere.
Speak with the newly elected president of Mexico and he will gladly tell you that he owes his election to the fact that he ran not primarily against his socialist opponent but against Hugo Chavez with the promise to the people of Mexico that he would not let the Venezualan infiltrate the country or help elect a hand-picked stooge.
As Chavez accumulates more oil money, more power and more terrorist allies, he will try to make covert and overt moves against the United States. And when he does, we all need to remember and identify his apologists here in the United States.
At the top of that list is Rep. William Delahunt.
Whooooee! Sure takes a noseplug to read that, doesn’t it?
Well, I did a little extra digging, and here’s what I found on the endearing Mr. MacKinnon:
First of all, he is not an ordinary “private citizen married to a Venezuelan”, as he disingenuously claims. He’s a former press secretary to Bob Dole and currently a hack for the Washington Times–Sun Myung Moon’s reactionary toy newspaper and all-purpose right-wing crapaganda mill. He has repeatedly appeared on Fox News (or Fux Snooze, as it should be called), and Media Matters has a modest dossier on him. Not surprisingly, the cueball-headed Mr. MacKinnon is one of those attack poodles who bayed for the blood of the New York Times and Washington Post because they had the temerity to stand up on their hind legs just once and reveal the NSA’s illegal wiretapping program, which has been in place since before 9-11.
Furthermore, this is not the first MacKinnon psy-op against Chavez. He’s a repeat offender. And, given the outlets he’s worked for, Chavez’s charge against him doesn’t sound so paranoid after all. The Washington Times’s right-wing bias, and its close ties to the Bush White House, are well known. (Less known, but equally deserving of recognition, is the Moonie Times’s attempted foray into Latin America. Alas, it was a flop. And how I wish someone would mention BushCo’s secret ties, via Moon, to Kim Jong Mentally Il’s North Korea–especially since Chavez’s own name has been joined to Kim’s in yet another bogus “Axis of Evil” drive!)
BTW, Chavez is NOT meeting with Mentally Il anytime in the near future. Please pass along the memo.
Ahem. Where was I again?
Oh yeah, that funny-looking MacKinnon dude. Bill Berkowitz, of WorkingForChange, has him down as also being a “former White House and Pentagon official”. Curiouser and curiouser! It’s almost as if he could be CIA after all; I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if he were.
Now, about that “massive militarization” stuff: Chavez is in fact only replacing old existing arms, and jets the US reneged on its contract to maintain. Nothing sinister about that, unless you’re the sort of person who likes to see old planes fall from the sky! The fact that MacKinnon is so touchingly “alarmed” about it tells me that he’d rather see Venezuela completely helpless, like Iraq was, when the inevitable US oil-grab comes.
And LondonYank, on the Daily Kos blog, has a most interesting dissection of MacKinnon’s “crapulous warmongering” (I love that phrase). You really must read it; you’ll learn so much interesting stuff about MacKinnon and his fishy motivations. LondonYank has found that he beats on Charles Shapiro–none other than the US ambassador who backed the 2002 coup–as being “weak”! If Shapiro is too weak, I’d hate to see what MacKinnon calls “strong”. (The excremental blog entry I linked also lists MacKinnon as a “novelist”; I’d say he writes a lot of pulp fiction for the media, too.)
Never mind that the only things Venezuela and Iran have in common are OPEC membership and a co-operative venture producing…drumroll please…FARM EQUIPMENT! No, MacKinnon probably thinks there are nuclear arms up Hugo’s sleeve, or will be when he gets back from his latest trip to Iran. How disappointed he’ll be to find out that it was, along with all the rest of his recent overseas trips, nothing more than a routine trade/diplomacy mission. (Someone please cue the Cueball that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons capability, either, and isn’t expected to have it anytime soon.)
And while you’re at it, please remind the factually challenged Mr. Chromedome that Vladimir Putin is officially the US’s ally in the War on Terra. And that Chavez is no terrorist, has no “terrorist leanings”, nor is he cozy with any terrorists. He’s not even “courting them nonstop”. But the Bush White House plainly is. (Maybe all this repetition of long-debunked bullshit is a smokescreen for that!)
Most hilarious is how quickly MacKinnon stoops to the standard “Chavez is a communist!” parrot-squawk that the rightards invariably reach for when they have nothing else. Just look at his language: Bolsheviks, Lenin, useful idiots, blah blah blabbity blah blah. How doctrinaire can you get? It’s like these guys never got the memo: THE COLD WAR IS OVER. RUSSIA IS OPEN TO TRADE WITH THE WEST NOW! (What–does Chavez not qualify as a westerner?)
Besides, that commie stuff is all so old. Justin Raimondo debunked it long ago. If the ‘tards are gonna lie about Chavez, can’t they at least make up some new shit? Or do they think that repetition alone is sufficient to turn a lie into truth?
Fuhgeddaboudit, fools…wingnuttery won’t wash anymore.
Douglas MacKinnon will just have to go on loping lonesomely around the lunatic fringe, where he most definitely belongs.