Monday, May 19, 2003


Raven and I made do with cinnamon rolls and coffee this morning.

“They would have been tastier if you had heated them.” Raven looks a bit sulky around the edges.

Maybe. Listen, Rave, I am reading a piece by Arundhati Roy in the Common Dreams site called “Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy”. Apropos your comment about heating things up, she says the following:

“Here we are, the people of the world, confronted with an Empire armed with a mandate from heaven (and, as added insurance, the most formidable arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in history). Here we are, confronted with an Empire that has conferred upon itself the right to go to war at will, and the right to deliver people from corrupting ideologies, from religious fundamentalists, dictators, sexism, and poverty by the age-old, tried-and-tested practice of extermination. Empire is on the move, and Democracy is its sly new war cry. Democracy, home-delivered to your doorstep by daisy cutters. Death is a small price for people to pay for the privilege of sampling this new product: Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (bring to a boil, add oil, then bomb).”

“She is certainly right to call it Imperial Democracy, since it has little or nothing in common with the traditional use of the term. Maybe she should have gone for the whole hog (paz, domestic animals) and called it Totalitarian Democracy?”

Or even Fascist Democracy, to be congruent with the US government’s official policy of Doublespeak?

“The cooking instructions make it clear why the US government has fomented civil unrest in, for example, Venezuela—to bring social conditions to a boil.” Raven takes a swig of his coffee.

Oil was already part of the mix. Venezuela sits on a lake of oil and gas that comprises almost half of the reserves of this hemisphere. Since The Bush Gang planned to invade Iraq, and they weren’t sure to what lengths the Iraquis might go to keep their oil out of the US clutches, The Gang decided to go after Venezuela first.

“So they cooked up the idea that Chávez—excuse me, The Leo of Your Dreams—was a dictator, so that they could depose him and enforce their brand of what you called Fascist Democracy—I like that term—in Venezuela.”

And it was necessary to make a coup in order to throw out the Constitution which says that PDVSA is not privatizable. Remember that the first thing self-proclaimed president Pedro Carmona did on April 12, 2002, was annul the Constitution.

“No bombing was necessary.”

No, it was not a time-capsule replay of the coup in Chile of Sept. 11, 1973, when Pinochet ordered the bombing of the president, Salavador Allende, in La Moneda. But it could have been. Which is one of the reasons why in June of last year Chávez installed anti-aircraft weapons around Miraflores, cut the military budget by 25% and put the money to social programs.

“But the The Gang is still agitating for a takeover.”

And using the power of the media, which is what they used to bring things to a boil in the first place. The irony of Charley Shapiro orchestrating a Free Speech event to ridicule Chávez last week in the US ambassador’s residence in Caracas is the enormous power of the media in Venezuela. Lots of money from Gustavo Cisneros, fishing buddy of Daddy Warbucks Bush, is behind the media. Despite his crying “poormouth” that he doesn’t have enough money to send Miss Venzuela to compete for the Miss Universe crown.

“What!? I thought Venezuela was a veritable factory for beauty queens.”

That’s the point, Rave. To make folks think that Chávez’ monetary controls are unpatriotic because they are stopping poor little Miss Venezuela from displaying the wonders of silcone in a swim suit.

“Quite a complicated situation, ain’t it? Now it’s a cultural war they’re bringing to a boil. Seems like a good moment to feel nostalgia for the good old days of The Cold War.”

Well, Venezuelan intellectual Luis Britto called this The Hot Cultural War, so I guess you are right on target, Rave.

“I would be if I were ready to bomb Miraflores. With money from the National Endowment for Democracy crammed in my tiny pockets. But I wouldn’t like to see Chávez test his anti-aircarft weaponry on my very elegant and excruciatingly expensive War on Iraq army surplus toilet seats. Especially the pink ones.”

Jesus, Rave, you’re a one-note samba.

“No way, José. I am your friendly Rantin’ Raven Rock ‘n’ Roller—from way back in the days of The Cold War, baby.”

Raven boogies his way to the sink with his coffee cup.

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