Many on the Left are quite outspoken about keeping the religion of those “fundie Christers” out of their tax funded schools. But when it came to the rash of religious speech in the UN this week, there was not much complaining to be heard from most on the left. That is understandable considering how many liberals worship there.
Those speaking at the altar of the UN this week though were not worshipping the body. They were actually quite critical of it. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked, “… if the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom, who are permanent members of the Security Council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the U.N. organs can take them into account". Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who spoke on Wednesday, even suggested the UN should be recreated and moved to another country, volunteering his own.
No, these men were not worshipping the UN. They were practicing an even more popular religion among those on the Left – the religion devoted to the hatred of America, and in particular, George W. Bush. President Ahmadinejad set the stage with his “come to Allah” meeting. He said a light surrounded him which caused his audience not to blink as he spoke of U.S. efforts in Iraq. "The occupiers are incapable of establishing security in Iraq.” He said that every day hundreds of people get killed "in cold blood" and that "it seems that intensification of hostilities and terrorism serves as a pretext for the continued presence of foreign forces in Iraq,"
Ahmadinejad ended his speech by praying for the reappearance of the 12th Imam and the end of this world. Incredibly, most all major American news outlets failed to even include his prayer for the apocalypse as part of their reports. (I am sure that if George Bush had ended his speech by praying for the Rapture and for Christ to return to rule the world, it wouldn’t have rated a mention either, though.)
As “inspired” as Ahmadinejad was though, it was not until Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez spoke on Wednesday that the fire and brimstone made an appearance. Literally. "Yesterday, the devil came here, right here, right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of," Chavez said. "Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world, truly, as the owner of the world.”
Many of those in the UN hall snickered, and then applauded the Chavez speech. What I watched for though was the reaction of American Democrats. Some on the American left have embraced Ahmadinejad and Chavez. At least a few prominent Democrats, though, took the opportunity to give forceful condemnations of the attack on the President of the United States.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “"Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug,. Hugo Chavez abused the privilege that he had, speaking at the United Nations. He demeaned himself and he demeaned Venezuela."
Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel said an attack on Bush is an attack on all Americans, “You do not come into my country, my congressional district, and you do not condemn my president.” He told Chavez and others they should not “think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our Chief of State.”
As crazy as Ahmadinejad and Chavez sounded though, and in spite of some Democratic denunciations of their attacks on the President, it is impossible to ignore how similar some of their comments were to those made by Democratic leaders in America, including Rangel and Pelosi, over the past five years, especially with respect to comments about Iraq and the fight against global terrorism. I wonder why it took the Chavez speech for Rangel to realize that Americans feel offended when someone offends their chief of state.
I have never heard any Democrat leaders refer to the President as “the devil,” but some have said he is a liar responsible for concocting a war resulting in the killing of innocent civilians in foreign countries in order to gain political advantage and to enrich his oil buddies. A leader who would intentionally mislead his citizens, and permit his country’s sons and daughters to die for a lie or to line the pockets of his rich friends sounds like a devil to me – even without the references to sulphur.
Mario Loyola at National Review Online says the president should have responded to Chavez. “The White House responded only to say that the comments were not worth responding to. I do not agree. A latter-day Mussolini just referred to the President of the United States as "the devil" — to general applause, laughter, and merriment in the General Assembly of the United Nations. Pretending like this is not worth responding to smacks of submissiveness.”
I have had the same thought and frustration over the President’s failure to respond to his Democratic opponents’ more outrageous accusations. Only time will tell whether or not he was right to so often ignore the rantings of those on the Left. I can’t help but wonder if Democrats will rethink their own rhetoric now or if they will fall back into attack mode in a day or so. Certainly hearing so many of their talking points come out of the mouths of two lunatics would be enough for pause.
But then again, we have heard much of the same spouted by the likes of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and that has not reduced the level of rhetoric among the American Left against this President. Over the past five years they have repeatedly sided with murderous lunatics against George Bush, and I doubt that is going to change overnight.