Plunging to new lows


In a sign that Hugo Chávez has indeed made headlines in corners of the world we never thought we’d be in, get this: there is a growing controversy in Iran over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s embrace of doña Elena Frías de Chávez at Chávez’s funeral.

The BBC reports on this bizarre story. Apparently, Ahmadinejad consoling Mrs. Chávez – who, let it be known, is 78 years old – is a big no-no in Muslim countries, so much so that the Iranian government quickly did a hack Photoshop job showing Ahmadinejad embracing … José Antonio Abreu? Dr. Evil? Mohammed El-Baradei?

As we snicker at the thought of the grieving Mrs. Chávez being Iran’s answer to Monica Lewinsky, one is left wondering: what the heck? How could Hugo Chávez’s foreign policy antics have plunged us into these sorts of stories? How has our country come to this?

Ugh. The worst part is the real scandal goes unoticed: that chavista women and foreign dignataries gave Ahmadinejad a standing ovation … on International Women’s Day.