The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pat Robertson: Not just and idiot...

But also a reliable idiot. From Dan Drezner:

So, I see Pat Robertson has spoken out in favor of offing Venezuelan President/strongman Hugo Chavez.

Hmmm... about two years ago, Pat Robertson spoke out in favor of supporting indicted war criminal, former Liberian President/strongman Charles Taylor.

And two years before that, there was the whole 9/11 commentary (although Robertson later said that he had "not fully understood" when he was agreeing with his guest Jerry Falwell).

Readers are invited to identify the target of ire or defense that will make Robertson look like a foreign policy jackass in the summer of 2007.
Some nice comments follow.

6 Comments:

  • I think it's important to view Robertson's comments in context. Robertson has been one of the few conservatives who has criticized Bush for the complete and utter lack of planning that went into this war. When Robertson said we don't need another $200 billion war, he was right. (Although he was more than $1 trillion short on the actual cost of this war.) The fact is, we would be better off if Bush had just had Saddam assassinated instead of starting this war. In the grand scheme of things, saying in 2005 that we should assassinate Hugo Chavez is a lot more responsible than saying in 2002 that we should invade Iraq. If that puts me on the same side as Pat Robertson, well, there's a first time for everything.

    By Blogger MDS, at 1:36 PM  

  • Just because Robertson is an idiot doesn't make him incapable of saying anything intelligent. It just reduces the odds.

    And Robertson's definitely right about his criticisms of the conduct of the war.

    But offing Hussein would have accomplished basically nothing. Unless you take out his entire power structure you may as well leave him in power.

    Stating that simply offing Hussein instead of conducting the war makes us better off may be correct, but it's basically the same as saying that doing nothing would have left us better off.

    Remember, his kids were ready to step right in and take his place. He had a solid infrastructure in place.

    It's also stupid to call for the assassination of foreign leaders in general. Castro successfully used them to gain sympathy. It also makes it appear as if you have no respect for the rule of law, and can be disastrous for future dealings with unsavory rulers, which is most of them. This is why we have an official prohibition on such conduct.

    Chavez sucks, but kiiling him would do little or nothing for Venezuela, and could very well make him into a martyr, a la Ernesto Guevara.

    Calling publicly for an assassination also ensures that that assassination will never take place.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:00 PM  

  • "Stating that simply offing Hussein instead of conducting the war makes us better off may be correct, but it's basically the same as saying that doing nothing would have left us better off."

    You're absolutely right. But Bush wasn't going to do nothing. He decided while the Twin Towers were still smoldering to do something about Iraq. Once he made that decision, I wish one of his advisors would have urged him to assassinate Saddam.

    By Blogger MDS, at 3:44 PM  

  • Update: Now Robertson says this:

    "I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time."

    Of course, he also said this:

    "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement."

    So, to clarify, Robertson didn't call for assassination. But he apologizes for calling for assassination.

    By Blogger MDS, at 3:55 PM  

  • "He decided while the Twin Towers were still smoldering to do something about Iraq"

    Actually, his administration had plans for action in Iraq prior to 9/11.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 PM  

  • Even if Bush's administration did not have plans for Iraq prior to the Twin Towers smoldering, deciding to do something about Iraq in that short of a timeframe is not suggestive of a calm, contemplated decision. Especially given the tenuous at best links. Then again, they did smolder for days.

    As for the main thread. My impression of Pat Robertson is that he shoots his mouth off on matters without really understanding things in depth. Sometimes such quick appraisals can hit the mark, but often you sound like an idiot to those who understand things better.

    If you want context, I don't remember anyone calling for an invasion of Venezuala, so his remark is extreme in the most relevant context. Furthermore, assassinating Sadaam would probably be worse than doing nothing. It would have been about the most likely way to get Iraq actively involved in terrorism - other than invading it and not rebuilding it.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 4:54 PM  

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