Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cindy Sheehan and the Michael Moore effect

Today's Opinion Journal has a perfectly sharp expose of Cindy Sheehan's planned engagement with the disgraceful dictator-in-waiting Hugo Chavez, thereby cementing her anti-western celebrity. Harry Belafonte has nothing on Cindy.

Again, I can't help but wonder if Cindy is working for the people she publicaly decries as war-criminals. Each time she meets with a Chavez or calls George Bush the "world's biggest terrorist," she marginalizes the left further out of the mainstream of American thought and influence. Perhaps this should be known as the Michael Moore effect. The louder these people speak, the less their interests are served. Turn up the volume!
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez now rivals Fidel Castro as the Western Hemisphere's most visible symbol of anti-Americanism, which explains why "peace activist" Cindy Sheehan is climbing abroad the Venezuelan firebrand's bus. She has announced plans to attend the World Social Forum in Caracas, which kicks off today and will celebrate, among other things, Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution.

The annual "forum," which began in Brazil in 2001 as an anti-globalization conference, is also sometimes referred to as the "carnival of the oppressed." Like most events of its kind, it has become flypaper for the planet's kookiest activists, including many who still espouse the "armed struggle" against capitalism, the "North," whatever. Perhaps the grieving Ms. Sheehan, an avowed peace lover, has been so busy with the makeup artists and the cameras to pay attention to the violence-prone types she's now embracing. But the name of one of the forum's organizers -- Ernesto "Che" Mercado -- could have given the anti-Bush publicity hound a hint. A Latin American revolutionary who takes the moniker of a legendary Cuban executioner is hardly a follower of Gandhi.

Indeed, the Sheehan tour to Caracas belongs in the "you-can't-make-it-up" category: A bitterly outspoken American citizen who has made a career of lambasting her president, she travels abroad to celebrate with a dictator who has thrown his own critics out of work and even put them in prison, stripped the press of its freedom, destroyed property rights and militarized the government. His political supporters are known to be armed and dangerous and many Venezuelans in poor neighborhoods have reported that they are afraid to dissent from the Chavez agenda. Venezuela's arms build-up is frightening his neighbors and threatening regional stability.

We're glad Ms. Sheehan has the freedom to travel abroad. Many of Chavez's critics are denied that right, as are the critics of Castro. But she shouldn't wonder why, when she opens her mouth in the U.S., nobody takes her seriously.

Update: More wonderful news @ Gateway Pundit -
More Democrats Speak Out, Rally Around Cindy, Bash Bill Clinton

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