Ed Koch noted something worth thinking about, in the reaction to Chavez' behavior at the UN:
No one stood up and told Chavez that he was out of order and demanded that he stop or sit down. They should have told him he was a disgrace to the U.N. Instead they are reported to have applauded this monster and laughed with him, instead of at him. The Times reported: "So while there was official outrage over Mr. Chavez calling Mr. Bush 'the devil,' there was also a lot of applause and giggling, from dignitaries including the president of the General Assembly herself, Haya Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, who was caught chuckling from her seat on the dais behind Mr. Chavez."
Where was the official outrage, and why was Chavez not rebuked while he held the platform? Many of the countries whose delegates were amused by his vitriol receive their sustenance from the U.S. We feed their people and provide much of their medical care. Many expect the U.S. to protect them from attacks from other countries, and some of them are even formal allies. Yet none of them walked out to show solidarity with us. The two nations not in the chamber when Chavez took the dais were the U.S. and Israel. We should forever remember the craven behavior of those who stayed and cheered.
Imagine if the United Nations meeting had taken place in Caracas, Venezuela, and President Bush in his address had viciously attacked President Chavez. What do you think would have happened? There would have been riots in the streets and Americans in Venezuela might have been assaulted and possibly murdered.
What was the reaction in the U.S. to Chavez's speech? While I am certain that most Americans were affronted, others invited Chavez to the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Harlem. He was applauded when he referred to George W. Bush as an "alcoholic," a "tyrant," and a "sick man." To his credit the district congressman Charlie Rangel denounced those who applauded Chavez and his attacks on the United States. Source
There are groups in the US that see nothing untoward with having enemies of their country come and talk with them, evidently under the belief that the enemies of the country are the enemies of the US administration, and not enemies of the US. That is a very short-sighted viewpoint, because these people are not an enemy of George Bush, but an enemy of what the US stands for - its freedom, its way of life, and its success. When the adminstration changes, these people will still be the enemies of the US. In fact, our way of life, and often the way of life of the very people who invite them, like the group who invited the Iranian president to speak, are totally anathema to the people they are dealing with. The majority of American feminists, for example, if they tried to live that way in Iran, would find themselves candidates for stoning.
One of the ironies of our era.