When oil is obselsced as a vehicle fuel or more deepwater discovery and eventual extraction pushes the barrel price back down, Chavez is finished. He's living on American dollars as it is (just over half of Venezuelan exports go stateside).
Words of more interest came from Pakistani President Musharraf, who called for a ban on the"defamation of Islam". He wasn't referring to an omerta in Pakistan. He was referring to a universal ban recognized by the UN:
"It is imperative to end racial and religious discrimination against Muslims and to prohibit the defamation of Islam."That sentence is about as risible as the now infamous statement from Pakistan's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson:
"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence."The Muslim world is far more discriminating than the Catholic countries Musharraf appears to be specifically swiping, and Islamic defamation of other belief systems is a numbing daily occurence all over the globe. A couple of the most recent stories:
A previously unknown Islamic group calling itself "The Army of Guidance" pledged Tuesday to strike at Christian targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for recent remarks by the pope deemed offensive by many Muslims. ...Nevermind that these dunderheads are attacking Greek Orthodox churches. The intent is clear. Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox; what's the difference? All are infidels.
"Every place relevant to Christians will be a target," said a statement from The Army of Guidance sent to news organizations in Gaza. "This will be until the accursed infidel, the Vatican, apologizes to Muslims."
A six-year-old girl was killed in an arson attack on her family home by men who disapproved of a relationship her older brother was having with a teenager, a court heard today.The two accused, Hussain Ahmed and Daryll Tuzzio, were part of Birmingham's rich cultural mosaic.
These events all illustrate how incompatible Islam is with Western liberalism. Free expression is to be unlawful at best, and possibly a reason for death. The action of the individual is but representative of the larger group (be it a sibling of the perpetrator, the ecumenical Christian world, or the entire UN membership), not something to be judged on an individual level.
Unfortunately, Western liberalism has a tough time combatting this as the only effective way is by fighting fire with fire--become intolerant of the Islamic world and Middle Easterners, North Africans, and Central Asians (as well as their descendants in other places) by keeping them out of the West and keeping a close eye on any of their actions that might raise suspicion through wiretaps and complex algorithims.
Much of the West, especially ideologues in academia and the media, are repulsed by this refusal to treat individual Muslims entirely based on their previous, individual activities. But what else to do? Less interventionism would alleviate America's salience in the Muslim world, but it wouldn't fully solve the problem. Unfettered tolerance simply doesn't have an answer for aggressive intolerance.
I echo Steve Sailer. Let's disconnect. If the discrimination Muslims face is as terrible as Musharraf suggests, let's not subject the poor creatures to more of it.