Four years ago, The Economist ran a cover story on the winner of the Brazilian election, the socialist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It was an event of great hemispherical significance. Hence the headline: “The Meaning Of Lula.”
The following week, a Canadian reader, Asif Niazi, wrote to the magazine: “Sir, The meaning of Lula‚ in Urdu, is penis.”
What to do? Gaffney proposes Americans switch over to FFVs (flexible fuel vehicles ). He’s right. The telegram has been replaced by the e-mail and the Victrola has yielded to the CD player, but aside from losing the rumble seat and adding a few cup-holders, the automobile is essentially unchanged from a century ago.
AFTER 9/11, Bush told the world: You’re either with us or with the terrorists. But an America that for no reason other than its lack of will continues to finance its enemies’ ideology has clearly checked the “both of the above” box.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that the other players are concluding that, if forced to make a choice, they’re with the terrorists.
Muslim populations in the Caucasus and western China pose some long-term issues for Moscow and Beijing but, in the meantime, both figure the jihad’s America’s problem and it’s in their interest to keep it that way. Hence, Russo-Chinese support for every troublemaker on the planet, from Iran’s kooky president to Chavismo in America’s backyard.
The meaning of Chavez in just about any language is “opportunity.”
Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez (right) wears a Bolivian poncho
as he speaks to a crowd while Bolivian president Evo Morales looks on.
Photo: AP, AP
The writer is the North America correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.