The Washington Post‘s editors are concerned that Obama has an attention-deficit problem when it comes to Hugo Chavez. They trace Chavez’s cozy relationship with Ahmadinejad and the evidence uncovered by the New York City district attorney that Chavez has been acting as Iran’s banker to evade international sanctions. They explain:
“The opening of Venezuela’s banks to the Iranians guarantees the continued development of nuclear technology and long-range missiles,” Mr. [Robert] Morgenthau said in a briefing this week in Washington at the Brookings Institution. “The mysterious manufacturing plants, controlled by Iran deep in the interior of Venezuela, give even greater concern.”
Mr. Morgenthau’s report was brushed off by the State Department, which is deeply invested in the Chávez-is-no-threat theory. State “will look into” Mr. Morgenthau’s allegations, spokesman Ian Kelly said Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mr. Chávez is off to Moscow, where, according to the Russian press, he plans to increase the $4 billion he has already spent on weapons by another $500 million or so. Mr. Chávez recently promised to buy “several battalions” of Russian tanks. Not a threat? Give him time.
The editors leave out, however, that Obama’s Honduras policy is yet another gift to Chavez and, in turn, to Ahmadinejad. The Post‘s editors have been quite critical of those who have taken exception to Obama’s bullying of Honduras. But maybe they should start to connect the dots. Obama’s actions in our hemisphere and in Iran both in deed and in willful ignorance have an unmistakable result: despots breathe easier, democracy and human rights get thrown under the bus, and America is less secure.