In testimony before Congress John Negroponte spoke frequently of threats to democracy in our own hemisphere. High on the list is Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian leader Morales.
While I am not a fan of Chavez and believe he should not accept the broad law making power soon to be granted to him, I find our position ironic. As the U.S. accuses Chavez of drifting toward authoritarianism, Bush calls himself “the Decider, the Decision Maker” on Iraq. Our President’s use of signing statements fits in a drift toward authoritarianism. His recent executive order imposing thousands of little Bush’s in a regulatory mode throughout the federal government is Chavez worthy.
Despite the irony, Negroponte’s appointment indicates “something sinister this way comes” in America’s foreign relations. The news reported his assignments include Iraq, China, and North Korea while Secretary Rice will keep Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian non peace initiatives.
Who gets Central and South America with its recent spate of populist elected leaders? My guess is John can work our heavy stick and carrot routine in multiple places at one time. His experience as Director of National Intelligence could come in handy should any underhanded measures become necessary.
If he needs Rev. Pat Robertson’s phone number for advice on how to handle Hugo Chavez, John only need call the White House. President George and Rev. Pat are close…