In today's Moderate Voice, Koogler writes of his disenchantment with Presidente-for-Life Chavez, saying,
For a long time, I’ve defended Hugo Chavez. I thought that he was fighting a worthy battle against greed and corruption, against years of foreign domination and cronyism. I thought he was trying to improve the lives of poor people, while establishing a strong economy, an independent and self-respecting nation, and a vibrant democracy.
But now, after watching events unfold in the past few months, I’m ready to admit that I was mistaken.
Koogler is one of a very few members of the liberal and Leftist political persuasion who is both honest and principled enough to write something like this, and he should be applauded. Chavez' reign of terror in Venezuela should have been obvious from the very beginning, but his strident anti-Bush rhetoric and his claims to act "for the people" have understandably blinded many. However, it is time to cast off the blinders and see Chavez for what he is- a tinpot dictator who entertains visions of regional hegemony and cares not a whit for the actual people who voted him into power.
As Captain Ed writes,
Koogler's reconsideration is well worth reading. It's not easy to admit error as Koogler does in this piece, and he explains his change of heart very clearly and rationally. The sooner that the American Left follows Koogler's advice, the sooner we can start working to help the Venezuelan people free themselves from Chavez' megalomaniacal grip on power. Be sure to read it all.
I cannot agree more- both with Mr. Koogler's eloquent disavowal of Chavez' ambition and Captain Ed's excellent analysis. If only the socialist sycophants within academia, the so-called "mainstream" media and the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill could display similar moral fortitude.
Hat tip to Ed Morrissey.