Chavez tells UN Bush is the real 'devil'

"The devil came here yesterday," he said. "He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world."

By Sinclere Lee

If calling someone a devil is just a metaphor for wicked behavior then Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was right on the money when he blasted Stupid Bush. No one can doubt that our president has made the world a worse place, whether we like it or not, or whether we admit it or not. In fact, if you went to the dictionary and looked up the word devil, you would probably see Bush’s picture.

When Hugo Chavez called President Bush "the devil himself" and told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that the United Nations had become worthless, he was speaking for a lot of people, many in this country.

"The devil himself is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Right here," said Chavez, a leftist ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro who also called Bush a "world dictator."

"The hegemonistic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very existence of the human species," Chavez told the assembly.

Speaking from the same podium where Bush had addressed the assembly the day before, Chavez said "it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of."

He also said the domination of the U.N. Security Council by world powers had rendered the body worthless.

"I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let's be honest. The U.N. system born after the Second World War collapsed. It's worthless," Chavez said.

The Chavez speech was "not worthy of reaction," said Frederick Jones, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

“It still smells of sulfur today,” Hugo Chavez said.

Chavez, a leftist leader allied to Cuba's Fidel Castro and with growing ties to fellow oil-producer Iran, has long had tense relations with the US.

"It still smells of sulfur today," he added in his speech.

He attacked US "hegemony" in the world and called for drastic reform of the UN to reduce what he called US influence.

In his speech, Bush had defended his policies on the Middle East and said democracy was gaining ground as terrorists were marginalized.

Other business at the UN on Wednesday includes a meeting of the Middle East quartet - the diplomatic steering group comprising the US, Russia, the European Union and the UN.

And the UN will hold a special meeting to discuss the four-year-old crisis in Ivory Coast, divided since its civil war.

'Horrific acts'

Wednesday's session opened with a speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai who argued military action alone would not stop terrorism in his country.

He called for the destruction of safe havens and elaborate networks operating in the region to recruit, train, finance, arm and deploy terrorists.

"Terrorists are prepared to cross any boundaries and commit horrific acts of violence to try to derail Afghanistan from its path to success," he said.

"They decapitate elderly women, blow up mosques full of worshipers and kill school-going children in indiscriminate bombings of civilian areas.

"And that is why they are killing international soldiers and civilians who have come to Afghanistan to help the Afghan people."

Talking about terror bases, Karzai did not mention any other country by name but a BBC correspondent says that, in the past, Afghan leaders including Karzai have criticized Pakistan for harboring Taliban militants and not doing enough to stop cross-border attacks.

The Afghan leader also linked Afghanistan's surging narcotics production to terrorism, saying the menace of drugs threatened the foundation of the Afghan economy.

Karzai said the answer to defeating terrorism lay in "the prosperity of the Afghan people".

"And through a combination of law enforcement and economic measures we expect that the international community will continue to support us in this fight by enabling us to provide meaningful alternative livelihood to our farmers," he added.

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