Saturday, February 12, 2005

US Threatening Iran

I got up relatively early considering its Saturday. This was so I could drive to a bike shop some distance away with an old Post Office bike we found dumped - a few years ago - and get an assessment of what it would take to restore it to a useable condition. The guy took one look and said that there was no way he could do anything. So it's down to me to try to source parts for it, and do the work myself.
S and I weighed ourselves. She's lost more than me, quel suprise!
Then we went shopping at Sainsburys and spent a hundred quid.

Despite the diplomatic language, Condoleeza Rice's comments are the latest in a long campaign to intimidate Iran. I suspect that the US want far more than the mere removal of a nuclear programme. The US want an internal revolt and the return to a west-friendly regime in the country. Rice's comments will serve to help bring about this end; US threats will create fear within Iran, which has already began to dispense with reforms it had previously introduced, with moderates being undermined. Rice's threats will help those in Iran who want to take a hardline against the west, and those who oppose tenative reforms.
Then of course the US will use the fact of this backsliding towards dictatorship as a reason for more intervention, sanctions, and eventually bombing and intervention. Somewhere down the line a prosperous and powerful nation will have been turned into another Iraq, broken and impoverished, ready to be invaded and occupied, if necessary, if internal dissent hasn't produced a civil war in the mean time.
Rice is now giving out warnings, just days after it was reported that the US had no intention of invading Iran (with the "for now" comment included in only some reports). She is now warning that the patience of the Bush administration was not unlimited. Clearly not! She added "we believe this is the time for diplomacy", there was "no deadline" and "no timeline" and said a "diplomatic solution is in our grasp". "It is obvious that, if Iran cannotbe made to live up to its international obligations, the IAEA statutes suggest Iran would have to be referred to the UNSC." A repeat of the long campaign against Iraq.

But what about Saudi Arabia? Its election on the 10th allowed no females to vote, and no female candidates to stand. Men will be electing only half of the members to local councils and the rest will be appointed by the Royal family.
All key ministerial posts are held by crown princes and the unelected parliament's role is purely consultative. Less than one third of those eligible to vote have actually registered, and there are no political parties mainly businessmen engaged in self -promotion. Anyone suggesting a change to this system is barred from standing, arrested, imprisoned, and probably tortured using British-made equipment. Marvellous!
When are we going to bring democracy to this oppressive Arab dictatorship then?
So far the US have failed to condemn these elections. They wouldn't dare, knowing full well that if the Saudis wanted to - they could cause US prosperity to collapse overnight.

No comments: