LOVING IRAN..

Anything to do with Israel always brings out some of the worst bias in the BBC. Have a read of this story concerning how the country’s leadership is supposedly “misleading” the public on the merits of a possible military strike on Iran. Throughout the article, Israel is portrayed as the bully with poor Iran as the victim.  Nehanyahu is a guy that the BBC can barely disguise its contempt for – one reason why I find him a most agreeable chap. I bet Ahmadinejad and the rest of the genocidal Mullahs must give thanks for the BBC every morning.

Iran Matters

Over the last few days Nick Robinson and Mark Mardell have been speculating about likely topics of conversation between David Cameron and President Obama. They predict that having settled Afghanistan, the new buddies will turn their attention to Iran. Or rather Israel, because the question they will be tussling with is not “How to make sure Iran doesn’t acquire nuclear weapons” but “how to stop Israel taking unilateral military action”.

Because the BBC frames Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons as “Israel’s problem,” the prospect of pre-emptive military action against Iran’s nuclear activities is contemplated with pre-emptive righteous indignation.Israel is blamed in advance for the anticipated consequences such as oil price rises, perhaps Western armed forces being ‘sucked in’, and the probability that it would hand the Islamists in our midst an additional excuse for home-grown grievance-based terrorism. People are preoccupied with the understandable concern that they may suffer because of “Israel’s war”, but their trepidation completely overshadows Iran’s culpability.

Arguments against military intervention are boosted by speculation that Iran hasn’t got nuclear weapons yet, and is a long way off acquiring them. People cite Iran’s repeated reassurances that their nuclear activities are one hundred percent peaceful; yet still they retain, as back-up, the theory that even if the Iranians have lied, perish the thought, diplomacy and sanctions will rescue us.
This argument comes with yet another back-up. If Iran has been fooling us all along, and should sanctions and diplomacy fail, we can always fall back on Mutually Assured Destruction – the all-time, ultimate deterrent. However, in a country ruled by people who are awaiting the End Times with joyous anticipation, an event that entails the coming of the Shia Mahdi accompanied by the apocalypse, the Mutual part of this deal doesn’t seem quite so relevant. Which just leaves the Assured Destruction.
It could be that if we wait too long, we’re in permanent thrall to nuclear-armed Ayatollahs. However, meantime we could bombard Iran with a concerted programme of overt sabre-rattling.

“The dirty secret about President Obama’s generally successful effort to put more pressure on Iran through sanctions and diplomatic methods is that in the last resort its effectiveness depends on exactly the military threats that he would like to downplay. “

It hasn’t occurred to the BBC’s political analysts that if we stick together and threaten, we could give Ahmadinejad the serious willies, which, End Times notwithstanding, could be more effective than trying to ingratiate ourselves with him by pacifying, tolerating and being patient. It’s known as Brinkmanship.

On Tues 6th March 5:05 am the BBC World service featured the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. I couldn’t blog it at the time because my internet connection was down. Their interpretation appeared to be that Netanyahu is making a big fuss about nothing. Though President Obama’s and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s clearly expressed preference for diplomacy was mentioned briefly, it was all but cancelled out by extremely misleading hinted-at images of Netanyahu straining at the leash like a mad dog, with peace-loving Obama wrestling with all his might to rein him in and save us all from Armageddon.
Mark Mardell and Nick Robinson are not alone in believing Obama is insincere in his friendships, both with the UK and, even more so, with Israel. The BBC portrays Netanyahu as a warmonger simply because they dislike him. They undoubtedly remember Sarkozy saying he can’t stand Netanyahu, and calling him a liar, with Obama’s apparent approval. Why, they may argue, pretend otherwise?
The Guardian.

The president sees the Israeli PM “as a liar who uses subversive tactics, shamelessly meddles in American politics and is encouraging the Republican campaign to topple him,” [Haaretz] while “Netanyahu sees Obama as a spineless leftwinger whose fantasies about world peace are threatening Israel with the prospect of a second Holocaust.” So, not exactly chums, then.”

The BBC attributes President Obama’s abrupt recollection of the unshakeable solidarity between the US and Israel to the upcoming US election. Why else, they imply, would the esteemed Obama bother with a hard-line leader of such a despicable country as Israel?
Obama undoubtedly does hope to curry favour with the Jewish voter, but since the majority of US Jews traditionally vote Democrat come what may, all this does seem an unnecessarily elaborate strategy.

However, whether or not the BBC should really be putting such ideas into people’s heads, it certainly isn’t their job to inspire people like Peter Oborne and Jenny Tonge to scatter sinister warnings about the Jewish Lobby, or to boost the credibility of people who talk about tentacles and tails that wag dogs.

If military action does eventually prove unavoidable, can a pre-emptive surgical strike with a clearly defined target be compared unfavourably with an open-ended military adventure like the one in which we are currently embroiled? The one popularly believed to have an undefined, ever changing, unachievable goal, the success of which is impossible to evaluate and the end of which is likely to be never, ever?

The possibility of a surgical strike specifically targeting Iran’s nuclear activities is not the same as an all-out attack against Iran. Who knows if such a thing is, or ever was, feasible, but the window of opportunity, if there is one, is closing – or closed. What would the situation in Syria be now, if such a thing hadn’t (allegedly) occurred in 2007?
And in any case, the consequences of our existing interference in ‘Muslim Lands’ are already with us. Maybe it would be better to go for it now, before it’s too late; whichever party does the deed, Israel knows it would face retaliation from Hezbollah, and despite what Jon Donnison says, Hamas.

This is not an argument for war. It’s simply about the BBC’s inappropriate advocacy of appeasing the Ayatollahs on top of their willful misrepresentation of the Arab Spring as a benign and enlightened success story. And now, their delusional attitude to the monumental differences between the Western and the Islamic world, framed as though it’s a straightforward case of ‘war or peace, ‘either or’. Meaning either (Israel’s) war or (the world’s) peace.

BBC World service. ‘The World Today with Lawrence Pollard and Roger Hearing’ reported the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. They called on the services of Professor Avi Shlaim of Oxford University. Prof Shlaim is an Israeli domiciled in the UK, and a harsh critic of Israel, so it’s no surprise that he would be consulted to reinforce the BBC’s stance. He did not disappoint.

He cited a warning to Israel not to take pre-emptive military action, made recently by “ex Mossad hard-liner” Meir Dagan. According to Haaretz Mr Dagan did indeed issue such a warning, but Ynet adds:
”Ultimately, the former head of Mossad said the Iranians cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, but an attack on their nuclear sites now would be a mistake.” So Dagan wasn’t playing down the threat from Iran, but, for better or worse, handing the hot potato of what to do about a nuclear-armed Iran, back to President Obama.
In the programme, after short sound-bites from Netanyahu and Obama, came Professor Shlaim’s analysis.
He kept referring to the Israeli government as ‘reckless’, without acknowledging that, even if it’s really all bluff and bluster, sabre-rattling is a necessary piece of the jigsaw.

I transcribed this programme, because it ticked all the above mentioned boxes.
+++++++++++++++++
Intro: “We don’t know exactly what went on at the meeting between president Obama and the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington but we can be pretty sure Mr. Netanyahu strongly argued the case for urgent military action against Iran to stop it developing nuclear weapons, and that president Obama pressed the case for seeing what sanctions and diplomatic pressure could do before sending in the bombers. In a speech before the American Israel and Public Affairs Committee AIPAC Mr. Netanyahu said time was running out.”
B. Netanyahu:
“My friends, Israel has waited, patiently waited for the international community to resolve this issue we’ve waited for diplomacy to work. We’ve waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer. As prime minister of Israel I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”
Beeb:
Well, earlier Mr. Obama said that both he and Mr. Netanyahu preferred a diplomatic to a military solution.
B. Obama:
“I reserve all options, and my policy here is not going to be one of containment. My policy prevention Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and as I indicated in my speech when I say all options are on the table I mean it. Having said that I know that both the prime minister and I prefer to resolve this diplomatically. We understand the costs of any military action.”
Beeb:
But what complicates this is that in a presidential election year Mr. Obama has to be very careful of alienating the large number of pro Israeli US voters by appearing not to be safeguarding the security of the Jewish State. Avi Shlaim is the professor of international relations at the University of Oxford, here in Britain. he doesn’t think President Obama does have to make concessions to the Israelis.
A. Shlaim:
“I question whether Israel has the ability to take unilateral action against Iran. The whole of the Israeli strategy for a long time has been geared to getting America to take military action against Iran. That hasn’t succeeded, so now there are rumours and speculation that Israel will be forced to take unilateral action.”
Beeb
:
“You think that’s bluff?”
A. Shlaim:
“I do think that it is bluff and more than that I think it is reckless. It’s not I who thinks that Mr Netanyahu and his defence Ehud Barak are reckless. It is the former director of the Mossad Meir Dagan who is a hard-line and former general who said that Israel cannot carry out unilateral military action against Iran, and that Israel shouldn’t be talking about unilateral action, and he called the prime minister and the defence minister of the state of Israel ‘reckless’. So I do believe he is right on this issue.”

Beeb:
“Many in Israel would say it was reckless to ignore what they see as a very real threat from Iran, after all the Iranian president has threatened to wipe Israel from the map, and I suppose, with nuclear weapons they would have the capacity to do that. Isn’t it reckless not to take any action?”

A. Shlaim:
“No, because Netanyahu keeps repeating that a nuclear-armed Iran will be an existential threat to the State of Israel. Well first of all, it would not be an existential threat, because Israel already has nuclear weapons, and therefore Israel’s nuclear weapons would deter Iran from launching an attack. So the worst case scenario would be a nuclear-armed Iran, and there would be a balance of terror, and the Iranians would be committing an act of suicide if they attacked Israel, and They are Not Irrational. That’s the worst case scenario. It wouldn’t be a good scenario, because if Iran had nuclear weapons, other countries, and first and foremost Saudi Arabia would want to have nuclear weapons, so it’s not a good scenario, but we are a very very long way from that worst case scenario because Iran hasn’t got nuclear weapons, it has a peaceful nuclear programme, and the best estimate from the American experts is that Iran has not made the decision yet to acquire a nuclear capability. That Iran’s programme is still peaceful and the decision to weaponize has not been taken yet so at the moment what we have is very serious severe western sanctions against Iran, so there is still the possibility of a diplomatic solution and this is what Obama should be concentrating on rather than threats of military action.”
Beeb:
“Professor Avi Shlaim.”

+++++++++++++++

THOSE IRANIAN "CONSERVATIVES"…

I know we have discussed this previously but I am not prepared to let the BBC run a contrived headline such as “Iran conservatives contest poll for Parliament” without comment. As ever it is their use of the term “conservative” to describe those Mad Mullahs around “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that I object to. There is nothing that is conservative about these Islamic radicals and the BBC know that – but it is such fun to attach the appellation”conservative” to such a hateful barbaric and deranged regime as that headed by Khamenei and so they just can’t resist it.  So, Iranian “conservatives” and British “conservatives” – what’s in a name?

IRAN, ISRAEL AND SYRIA

Anyone catch this John Humphyrs interview with William Hague on Today this morning. What fascinated me was how a discussion regarding what could be done to help those people suffering under the Assad regime in Syria suddenly was switched by Humphyrs into trying to get Hague to say that the UK would never support military action against…Iran. And in particular, should Israel move against the Mad Mullahs, would the UK ensure no support whatsoever would be afforded. To be fair to Hague he did repeat the line that NO options are off the table but it’s the way in which the BBC seems to have linked Assad’s butchery of his own people to that of Israel seeking to prevent the annihilation of their people at the hands of the thugs in Tehran. As I recall there was a similar attempted “gotcha” last week using the same trick and it makes me think the BBC worry more about Israel defending itself than Iran attacking it. I’ve had an exchange in the past day with New Statesman Editor Medhi Hasan and he articulates a defence  for Iran that I believe will become the narrative for the BBC as conditions deteriorate.

MODERATE ISLAM

Here’s a story that the BBC seems to a tad reluctant to cover for some reason. B-BBC contributor Alan observes;

“No mention of this story on the BBC website despite it being on ‘Drudge’ hours ago and the Daily Mail having picked it up….wonder why not? (Though the BBC does find time to complain of Iranian intimidation of its own staff: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16874177)

Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate 
Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel
Iran lays out legal case for genocidal attack against ‘cancerous tumor’

“The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people. The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide.Calling Israel a danger to Islam, the conservative website Alef, with ties to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the opportunity must not be lost to remove “this corrupting material. It is a “‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”

The Cancer of Israel

Politics explained in five simple stages.
1) An ideologically driven movement or individual gains power by charisma or by hook or by crook.
2) In order to enact the ideological vision effectively unity must prevail.
3) Dissenters are curbed or controlled by hook or by crook.
4) Suppressing the dissenters eventually overrides the original vision.
5) The situation boils over into another revolution.
The current chess game of world politics is complex, chaotic and intricate. Iran is governed by religious zealots who have persuaded their humble subjects to focus on the afterlife, thus undermining the deterrent effect of Mutually Assured Destruction. At the same time there is a significant pro-western element within the Iranian population, which has so far failed to get itself sufficiently organised to revolt.

As Iran’s specially singled-out hate-object, Israel is being tasked to preemptively deal with Iran. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, although Israel has not confirmed this. The rest of the world hopes Israel will do the dirty work so that it can distance itself from the ensuing nastiness, while blaming Israel’s aggressive character and secretly sighing with relief.
The UK, the USA and Saudi Arabia will be particularly delighted, as long as they can simultaneously condemn Israel and kill the threats emanating from Iran, with one stone.

The BBC is grooming us for this. Renowned Israel-hater Leon Panetta, US defence secretary, has advertised his notion that Israel is nearly ready to strike, thereby purposely compromising any surprise element, should such a strike be thought feasible. The BBC has announced this several times.

But in any case the surgical strike option sounds like a fantasy. Even if Iran hadn’t managed to secrete its nuclear derring-do deep, deep underground and distributed the bits and pieces far and wide so that it would be impossible to take them out at one fell swoop, if Israel went ahead Israel would take massive hits from all directions through Iran’s proxies, and the rest of the Arab world might well jump on the bandwagon.

This isn’t at all simple. Con Coughlin has been investigating. He has found out what Michael Totten has been telling us for years. Iran’s proxy Hizbollah has been building up an extraordinary cache of weapons in Lebanon, aimed at Israel.

The one thing that all desperate failing governments will grasp with both hands, is a cause that is sure to unite disenchanted voters and squabbling underlings. That cause is the destruction of Israel. The coalition has already made its position quite clear on the Middle East. What with the impossibility of appeasing everyone at once it’s out of its depth and floundering. However much of a threat Islam is to us, it’s not impossible that a nuclear device could one day find its way into London, so perhaps the government thinks it expedient not to be too friendly to Israel. This particular government has never been that way inclined anyway, and never mind Obama’s iron-clad commitment..
The BBC has good reason to understand the threat Iran poses with its extended reach. Will it be influenced by Ayatollah Khamenei’s promise: “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this.”
So if the BBC decides to go along with the Ayatollahs and protect its Persian staff by continuing its Israel-bashing agenda, constantly insinuating that Israel is a rogue state so it doesn’t matter much if it is annihilated, think 1930s.

How the President’s Fecklessness and the Green Lobby Damage the Country and the World

A few months before the historic 2008 election, Senator Obamessiah declared His dream of transforming the US into a green energy economy. He promised to use His power to foster the development of green energy companies, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and create five million green jobs. We all know how well that’s turned out, don’t we?

He poured $4.7 billion down the Green toilet, creating precious few jobs, many of which have since been killed due to bankruptcy.  Worse still, we’re more dependent on foreign oil because of His misguided moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, and His refusal to allow not only the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Plus He delayed a deal to allow oil and gas drilling in an Ohio national park. Without lifting a finger, He’s killed nearly a quarter million jobs right there, plus ensured that the US will remain a net importer of oil for the foreseeable future.

He punted on Keystone as a sop to the environmental voters He needs in 2012. By delaying the decision until after the election, He can not only please them, but also doesn’t have to deal with attacks from the non-Left about killing jobs or preventing us from having more domestic production. The Ohio deal is more or less the same thing. But it’s not just a political ploy, as He’s obviously a Watermelon, and always has been. It fits right in with the rest of His extreme-Left mindset.

I can also go on all day about how the ideologically-driven EPA needlessly harms the economy by trying to shut down coal plants, excessively regulating power suppliers which drives up consumer costs causing further pain in difficult times (same thing is happening in Britain), and preventing regions from creating hundreds of thousands of much-needed jobs. Then there’s the fact that subsidizing biofuels (e.g. “dirty corn”) causes feed corn prices to go up, which in turn causes food prices to skyrocket. All of this has gone on under The Obamessiah’s watch, much of it at His direction, and done by people He appointed due to ideology.

We can see, then, how the President’s ideological delusions and His political fecklessness cause serious harm to the US. So how does this apply to the rest of the world? Well, let’s consider the current situation with Iran.

As we all know, there has been an endless series of international talks about dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. With the recent assault on the English British Embassy in Tehran, there has been an increasingly loud call for hardcore sanctions. Specifically, the latest noise is a call for a total embargo on Iranian oil in Europe. Which we also know isn’t likely to happen any time soon. The problem is, countries like Italy and Spain are dragging their feet because they rely a bit too heavily on Iranian oil. People are mumbling about somehow finding other sources for them so they can join the embargo, but who sees that happening any time soon? Where are they going to get it? Venezuela? As if that will make the world a safer place.

Switching sources at the drop of a hat is much easier said than done. And even if Italy, Spain, and Greece somehow manage to find alternative sources within the next few weeks, surely it will be at great cost, which is the absolutely last thing these countries need when they’re already on the brink. They’re already about to bring the Eurozone crashing down like Humpty Dumpty as it is. In short, the lacuna of energy sources has dire consequences.And don’t get me started on how some countries might now be turning away from nuclear energy, which will only add to the problem.

If The Obamessiah wasn’t such a Watermelon, hadn’t appointed Warmists and Green ideologues to key government positions, and wasn’t sucking up to the environmentals for the votes He needs in 2012, it’s entirely possible that the US could have been a viable source. Despite His best efforts, we’ve become a net exporter of fuel.  Unfortunately, by fuel I do not mean oil.  I do mean petroleum-based products for a variety of uses. The US is still the world’s largest net importer of oil, but we’ve managed to do enough things with it that we can now export more refined products than we bring in. That’s an innovation success story, and I hope it won’t be jeopardized by the Watermelons in Washington.

But what if the US could also become a net exporter of crude? If not for pressure from the Green Lobby over the last couple of decades, and the serious setbacks handed to us by the President, we’d probably be there already. In which case we could be a viable alternative source for Italy, Spain, and Greece, thus enabling a real, crippling embargo on Iran. Sadly, we’re not there, and won’t be any time soon, so international security is seriously damaged because of Watermelon ideology and political fecklessness by the President.

In the end, Warmist ideology harms the country and the world in more ways than we can imagine.  You won’t be hearing this viewpoint on the BBC.

PEACE ON EARTH – GOODWILL TOWARDS IRAN

The BBC just keeps giving when it comes the Mullahs in Tehran. This morning it uncritically covers the latest lies from Ahmadinejad on the topic of Iranian nuclear intentions. Yes, I know the 12th Imam’s dining pal selected US network ABC to use as his conduit for propaganda (Big surprise, the BBC must be gutted) but I would have expected the BBC to at least provide those who suffer under the Mullahs with an opportunity to comment on Ahmadinejad’s drivel but..no such luck. If it applied the same rigour it gives to comments by David Cameron as it does to comments by fanatics like Maddy at least there would be some consistency but no such process applies to the BBC.

A LITTLE IRANIAN DIFFICULTY..

Anyone catch this item on the Iranian situation? Martin Indyk from the Brookings Institute gets short shrift as he exposes Iranian duplicity meanwhile the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA gets to waffle for four minutes even getting stuck into Trident. A very weak interview indeed with the Mullah’s apologist getting away with all kinds of lies. More like a monologue really….

WE ARE ALL HIZBOLLAH NOW?


Do you recall the very sympathetic treatment the BBC gave those loutish trash who used the Israeli defence actions against Hezbollah in Lebanon to trail through the streets of London and proclaim that “We are all Hezbollah now”? Funny how the BBC are subdued on the news that Hezbollah and Hamas are supplying thugs to put down the insurrection against the Mullah’s? Cat got their tongue??

Stability Monkeys

The BBC is a firmly ideological organisation. One way you can see that is that the messages they purvey rarely change, even though they may evolve somewhat.

Take the Iranian election this week. The BBC’s John Simpson said when Ahmedinejad was elected in 2005 that Iranian politics was “complex and sophisticated”. The invitation to consider his election as an expression of an intelligent electoral system was clear.

Now, following the latest election in which Mahmood strengthened his position with suspicious symbolic perfection outlined by Amir Taheri here, Simpson describes Iran as “a relatively sophisticated country”. Relative to what he does not say. As I did before, in 2005, I invite you to discover some examples of this “sophistication”, all of which documented by Amnesty International (for which I hold no uncritical admiration) since Mr Simpson voiced his view of Iranian “sophistication” in 2005.

Simpson, now apparently ensconced in Iran as he used to ensconce himself in Iraq when he befriended Saddam’s ministers, makes the case for stability:


“it certainly is not in the outside world’s interest to have a long period of disorder in Iran. Political chaos in a leading oil-producing country would do more economic damage to Western countries.”

In so doing he makes the case for Ahmadinejad’s continuing in office, and breaches the code for impartiality. But that is more or less a stable state with the BBC, isn’t it?

THOSE IRANIAN ELECTIONS…

I notice the BBC is getting very excited about the election taking place in Iran between what it describes as the “ultra-conservative” Ahmadinejad and the “moderate” Mousavi. Let’s leave the attachment of the word “conservative” to Holocaust denying Jew hating Ahmadinejad aside for one moment and consider Mousavi’s “moderation” – shall we? He is in favour of Iran’s nuclear programme (Objective; Wipe Israel off the map and gain regional supremacy); he has been an adviser to Khamenei; he has been described as a “firm radical” -and of course he has a track record of anti-Americanism. None of this is touched on by the BBC in their fluffy endorsement of the moderate Mousavi. Moderation and Iranian leaders under the jackboot of the Mullahs are mutually exclusive but you would never know that from BBC coverage.

LOVING THE MULLAHS.

I had to check if the date was April 1st when I heard the BBC item that our Dear Leader was inviting the Iranians to combat climate change by expanding “peaceful” nuclear energy. Bet the Israelis will really love that! Naturally the paper tiger caveat from Prudence is that there will be (more) strict UN resolutions (the sort that we know don’t work) if the Mullahs do what they are doing anyway and develop nuclear weapons. Truly pathetic stuff from Brown, designed to ingratiate himself with Obama, and all without a second thought for the nation that Iran has clearly within its atomic cross-hairs. Not that the BBC like to talk about that aspect of things. Iran is just a friend we have to meet.


David Cameron to relocate to Iran?

Conservatism may still be strugging to regain a meaningful presence in the United Kingdom but boy is it alive and well in Iran! he BBC’s bizarre obsession with the alleged forces of conservatism in Iran reappears today in its coverage of the Iranian parliamentary elections. This time round though it’s not the 13th Iman’s dining pal and holocaust denier President Ahmadinejad that is the “conservative” – no, it turns out that it is his critics – the uber-fascists – that are now designated “conservatives”! It’s as if the BBC staff-writers have set themselves the objective of labelling the biggest Islamofascists around as “conservatives” in some puerile attempt to demonise that very term. The radical Islamist regime that pollutes Iran can be called many things but as I said yesterday, and as I repeat today, it is in no way conservative. The international left of centre MSM of which the BBC is such a central element, may seek to designate the term conservatism to the Khomeini legacy but the truth is that it is a Nazi-like Islamic theocratic tyranny which curiously enough has created close links with favoured LEFTIST regimes such as Venezuela and Cuba. How long before Hugo Chavez is defined as a leading conservative politician?