Monday, August 22, 2005

The New Robertson Doctrine?

[[D I P L O M A C Y]] * Pat Robertson--evangelical preacher, failed Republican presidential candidate, and founder of the Christian Coalition of America--today called for Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chávez, to be assassinated. Speaking on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s The 700 Club, the right-wing Reverend Robertson said:

[Chávez] has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent. You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don’t think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can’t let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
That’s right, Pat. Talk morality but advocate murder. Is that what they taught you in divinity school?

But of course this isn’t the first time Robertson has defended the assassination of foreign leaders as “practical.”

ADDENDUM: A front page story in the Los Angeles Times introduces readers to “a bold effort by evangelical conservatives [in Washington, D.C.] to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God.” As the Times explains, “Through seminars taught by conservative college professors and devout members of Congress, the students learn that serving country means first and always serving Christ. They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin.”

READ MORE:Was Pat Robertson’s Call for Assassination of a Foreign Leader a Crime?,” by John W. Dean (FindLaw’s Writ); “Is Pat Robertson a Man of God?,” by Patti Davis (Newsweek); “Chávez Ally: Robertson a ‘Fascist’” (AP); “Pat Robertson’s Fatwa,” by Cenk Uygur (The Huffington Post); “Pat Robertson Endorses Assassinations,” by Joe Gandelman (The Moderate Voice); “U.S. Rejects Prominent Preacher’s Call for Chávez Assassination” (Agence France-Press); “Regime Change By Assassin? Easier Said Than Done,” by Lynne Duke (The Washington Post).

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