September 18, 2006
Following the conclusion of the "Nonaligned" Summit in Cuba, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid a visit to Venezuela and the two rogue chieftains warmly embraced. Hugo Chavez announced that the two countries plan to set up a plant for producing gunpowder and other components of ammunition." It is almost (!) as if they are going out of their way to provoke the United States. See CNN.com. Chavez and Ahmadinejad talked about how much their countries have in common. Huh?? What characteristics do they share, besides oil deposits and the fact that their leaders routinely vent berserk rhetoric aimed at Uncle Sam? Venezuela and Iran have signed a wide variety of commercial and economic development agreements over the past year. If Third World history is any guide, however, such politically-motivated "business" ventures are not likely to last very long. Whenever factory bosses are more concerned with pleasing those to whom they owe patronage than in producing at maximum efficiency, such enterprises will start losing money. Before long, there will be no further reason for the governments to keep them going with subsidies.