The language could be from a Vanity Fair profile of any number of highly strung celebrities. The subject is described as insecure, malignantly narcissistic and driven by a need for adulation. Behind the public displays of arrogance and petulance lurks a fear of not being liked.
Barbara Streisand? Paris Hilton? Step forward Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, as depicted in a psychological profile commissioned by the US air force.
According to this analysis, the regional rivalry between Washington and Caracas is less about oil, geopolitics and ideology and more about Mr Chávez’s desire to feel good about himself.
“The arrogant certainty conveyed in his public pronouncements is very appealing to his followers. But under this grandiose facade, as is typical with narcissistic personalities, is extreme insecurity,” wrote Dr Jerrold Post, the director of the Political Psychology programme at George Washington University and a veteran CIA analyst.
Okay, right there you know just how reliable THAT source is. “Veteran CIA analyst” is a big red flag. Remember, the CIA has just opened one door of its skeleton closet (the one labelled “1950s-70s”), but left the other shut. This Post guy is but a small part of what you’ll find behind that other door. (He was also behind the anti-Saddam propaganda drive in Gulf War II, in case you’re wondering.)
Anyone who thinks the CIA is done with assassinations, or meddling in foreign politics, really needs to look behind the 2002 coup in Venezuela. The 600+ flopped anti-Castro efforts of the past may seem like comedy, but the anti-Mossadegh success of the CIA and Kermit Roosevelt was the real harbinger of what was in store for Chavecito. What…you think the guys who perpetrated that keystone koup were just acting off their own bat? Eva Golinger can tell you differently. In the weeks leading up to that coup, there was a spike in “declarations of insanity” against Chavez, as well as accusations that he was “autocratic” and “a dictator”. These were faithfully, and uncritically, echoed in the US media. (Good doggies!)
But the most telling moment actually came on February 6, 2002, just two months before the coup, when CIA director George Tenet smirked fatly and said, “Mr. Chavez–and I think the State Department may say this–doesn’t have the interests of the United States at heart.” This was during a session on intelligence, in which Chavez was lumped in rather blatantly with Saddam, al-Qaida, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as a projected menace to “democracy” on the US Enemies List.
Do I really need to remind you what the common denominator–the sole common denominator–between Chavez and all of those baddies actually is?
Tenet’s words should haunt him to his grave. Of course Chavez doesn’t have the interests of the United States at heart. What country is he president of, again? Last time I looked, it wasn’t the US!
And, much to the dismay of those in the US who would like to go on thinking of Latin America as “the backyard”, Chavez isn’t content to be a good little doggie chained up to his kennel in the backyard, either. Were he a real dictator, but a tame right-wing one, no one in Washington would have a problem with him, unless s/he were stricken by a sudden attack of galloping integrity. Which, I gather, is not one of Jerrold Post’s mental ailments.
I don’t for a moment believe Post’s “analysis” of Chavez, either. He’s on shaky psychological ground there; his “patient” is not on his couch, and since Post has long been in the employ of the sworn enemy of said “patient”, it’s obvious where Post’s real transference (that’s psych-talk) lies.
But if you’re looking for a patient to fit the “diagnosis” to a tee, may I suggest…drumroll please…the failed Texas oilman who wants to get his grubby mitts on all that bubblin’ crude under Chavecito’s cute little brown butt?