One unintended consequence of reelecting George W. Bush in 2004 was the emboldening of our enemies. Bush is such a polarizing figure that the enemies of the United States easily seize momentum in anti-US movements.
That certainly seems to be the case the Ahmadinjad and Chavez, pictured above. It's time to seriously question why other countries hate us. I don't think it's as much that they hate our freedoms or what we stand for, as right wingers say. I also don't think it's just because Bush is hard to swallow and a Cowboy, as left winger say.
In the case of the Muslim communities our support of Israel after WWII and especially in the last 15 or so years has gone over the line with them. Certainly we have key idealogical differences in governmental philosophies as well as religious beliefs and freedoms. But the bloodthirst of the radical Muslim community can't simply be fueled by philosophical differences and maintain the footing that it does. This is an area that really needs examination from our current presidential candidates. I'd like to hear some serious Lincoln-Douglas debates over this.
Chavez is another story. I frankly don't know what his beef is. Other than we don't like him and how he moves and he doesn't like us meddling. But as the lone world superpower we have to accept that we're a target for dictators who want to make a name for themselves. Like the bully in your classroom that earned his credentials by constatnly challenging the authority figures, Chavez gets cheers for bravado, not true bravery.
These two men joining forces can't be good for anyone. They are headstrong and insolent. Look at history and you'll see the world's most dangerous figures were often the same.