Architect Of Latin Socialism
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd is smiling broadly these days, not because he has a new knee, but because his kneeling on the altar of socialism is paying off in Latin America. Bolivia has become the latest Western Hemispheric nation to fall under the thumb of left-wing radicals with the election of Evo Morales, an extreme socialist who has declared his intention to be a "nightmare" to the United States.

A disciple of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Mr. Morales said his first acts will include nationalizing Bolivia's natural-gas industry and reneging on long-standing counter-narcotics agreements by legalizing the production of coca leaves, the raw material of cocaine powder.

Bolivia joins Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay on the list of Latin American nations that have come under the influence of socialist regimes. Others could fall to socialism in rapid succession over the next year, including Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru. Political conditions are so good for extreme left-wingers that even Daniel Ortega, leader of the brutal Nicaraguan Sandinistas, is trying for a comeback.

Mr. Ortega, you may recall, has long been the darling of Connecticut's senior senator. While President Reagan was trying to stem the tide of communism in Latin America in the 1980s, Sen. Dodd was carrying Mr. Ortega's water in Congress and in the news media. Sen. Dodd never got over the embarrassments he suffered during that period, so he took out his frustrations on the Bush administration, much to America's peril.

In 2001, he stonewalled and slandered Otto Reich after he was nominated for undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Mr. Reich opposed Castro and communism, and as a member of the Reagan administration, supported the Contras against the Sandinistas. Mr. Reich's nomination -- and America's foreign policy -- languished for months. It afforded Sen. Dodd ample opportunity to falsely accuse Mr. Reich of abetting drug trafficking in the Americas, even as his buddy in Caracas was amassing the biggest cocaine-distribution empire in the hemisphere. Sen. Dodd's shameless assault on Mr. Reich eventually drove him from government service.

Sen. Dodd gave Mr. Reich's successor, Roger Noriega, the same treatment for the same reasons. Mr. Noriega eventually was confirmed in 2003, but by then, Sen. Dodd's pro-communist campaign had deeply undermined America's influence in the hemisphere, and goons directed by Castro and Chavez had established a network of terrorism and communism throughout the region. Democracies began to teeter.

By sabotaging the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts to bring stability to that volatile region, Sen. Dodd paved the way for a new era of socialist dictatorships in the Americas, with all their attending oppression, torture and drug trafficking.