George Bush used his time in the Big Top to, among other things, talk to the Iranian people explaining that they have been lied to by their leader.
In the small tent, Iran's President Ahmadinejad conducted an eight minute prayer in which, among other things, he made clear that George Bush is lying to the American people and the world. The Iranian leader also used the opportunity to cite the UN's increasing irrelevance while in the side show Hugo Chavez demonstrated his.
When viewed as an edited collection, the comments of these three "leaders" took on the air of a pre-fight weigh-in with each of the contenders taking their shots at their opponent.
As the pundits offered opinions as to which of these statesman made the most of their appearance on the world stage, my hazy brain finally cleared and I began to focus.
First of all, each of these men is a politician. Which means, among other things, that they are probably lying. It also means, they are probably screwing up things at home while they are off at the UN yucking it up for the cameras and blaming their troubles on everyone else.
I, an American and registered Republican (a story for another day), have been jawboning Bush supporters for 5 years over his continued and amplified imperial foreign policy. If Americans, some of them my friends, don't want to hear a lecture on Bush's hubris from me, I doubt they want to hear it from some South American communist. Similarly, I suspect that Iranian's have little time for Bush's overtures to them.
George Bush is a man who is in way over his head. He has embraced the pipe dream foreign policy goals of men much shrewder than he but perhaps no wiser. These policies are no doubt counterproductive, expensive and detrimental to stability and America's standing in the world. Alarmingly but not unpredictably however, these policies ultimately serve as a galvanizing force for otherwise "also-rans" like Ahmadinejad. Bush's stepped up, "in your face" imperialist advances likely were the impetus for the electoral victory that put the Iranian hard liner in office and set back the progress of the moderate reformers in Iran.
Between Bush's imperial adventures, accusations of a CIA backed Venezuelan Coup d'etat and Pat Robertson's calls for his assassination, Hugo has all he needs to make the case for his victimization.
As major oil producing nations, Iran and Venezuela have seen windfalls as a result of record oil prices thanks in no small part to bush's cowboy diplomacy. Yet at home, all three nations face increased inflation and massive transfers of wealth from the productive elements within their local economies in the form of socialist programs and foreign aid.
Three men fond of blustery rabble rousing. Three men who's parasitic domestic policies are being overshadowed by larger international events. Three men who give lip service to "freedom" while exploiting one another's actions as a catalyst for fear at home. Three men, who somehow seem to justify or in a perverse way benefit one another politically. Perhaps they even deserve one another ... but do we, the American, Iranian and Venezuelan people deserve them?