Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A psychiatrist for Chavez: ¡Más rápidamente, por favor!

Yoo hoo! Calling Dr. Sanity! Calling Shrinkwrapped! Psychiatrist sought by world leader Hugo Chavez!

And, as Michael Ledeen would say in only a slightly different context: más rápidamente, por favor!

The most astounding case of Bush Derangement Syndrome ever was paraded before the UN today by the Venezuelan President, who addressed the General Assembly and referred to Bush as the devil. That's a step up in the evil sweepstakes from Hitler, the usual comparison.

The AP story I linked states that Chavez called Bush "the devil," and even spotlights that fact in its headline. But it still fails to give the full flavor of Chavez's remarks. Fortunately the blogosphere has come to the rescue in Musing Minds (via Pajamas Media), which provides a fuller translation.

Chavez's address read a bit like a piece in the Onion, as has happened so many times recently. But it's not. In it, Chavez waxes eloquent on the topic, complete with appropriate gestures:

Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. (crosses himself) Right here. And it smells of sulfer still today. This table that I am now standing in front of, yesterday ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the President of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as 'the devil' came here talking as if he owned the world. Truly as the owner of the world.

Personally, I'm not much into people/devil comparisons. But if the words "the devil came here" had to be used to describe any appearance at the UN yesterday, they might better have been applied to Ahmadinejad.

It's no surprise that Chavez doesn't see it that way. After all, he's making a bid to become a powerful leader, defining himself in opposition to the US (or, as Chavez says, as "the voice of the Third World") and as allied with Iran, Syria, and Cuba.

In his speech, Chavez called for a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, it's not for himself; it's for an analysis of what motivates Bush:

I think we can call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the President of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism he came to share his nostrums. To try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.

Chavez then makes an interesting cinematic comparison:

An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title, 'The Devil's Recipe'.

I think Chavez hasn't been watching too many Hitchcock movies lately. They don't tend to be about devils emitting sulfuric fumes--or maybe, to give Chavez the benefit of the doubt, there's something wrong with the Spanish translations of Hitchcock, whose main theme--ironically enough--was that of an innocent man charged falsely and having difficulty defending himself.

In fact, in a famous Hitchcock movie of my youth, "North by Northwest," there's even a scene set in the UN itself. Cary Grant is the man who falls into a trap there: a diplomat is murdered by someone else while talking to Grant, and the crime is captured on camera by the press, making it seem as though Grant has committed a murder:

Of course, in Hitchcock movies, justice always triumphs in the end, although not without some mishaps along the way:

Hitchcock always cleared the innocents' names, and the guilty were identified and led away for punishment. Would that life mirrored art. Faster, please.

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