,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Friday, April 14, 2006


Commentaries: Iraq, Iran, Immigration

The Guardian,UK * Michael Kinsley * Eugene Robinson

All worth reading and thinking about. First, the leader in the Guardian: Iraq Ungoverned and ungovernable. "In the meantime, and in the absence of effective national security forces, the quarrelling factions are taking matters into their own hands, through the use of militias. This, as the US ambassador in Baghdad recognises, provides the "infrastructure of civil war". Though the daily suicide bombings still attract most of the media's attention, a far more sinister trend is developing. This is the growing number of mutilated bodies that turn up - people who have been abducted and killed, simply because they belonged to the wrong sect."

What have we achieved in Iraq for the lives lost,cities destroyed and the daily carnage? Michael Kinsley in the Post: "So, after more than a half-century of active meddling -- protecting our interests, promoting our values, encouraging democracy, fighting terrorism, seeking stability, defending human rights, pushing peace -- it's come to this. In Iraq we find ourselves unwilling regents of a society splitting into a gangland of warring militias and death squads, with our side (labeled "the government") outperforming the other side (labeled "the terrorists") in both the quantity and gruesome quality of its daily atrocities. In Iran, an irrational government that hates us with special passion is closer to getting the bomb than Iraq -- the country we went to war with to keep from getting the bomb -- ever was."

The more interesting part about the role of the United States as a king maker comes later in his op-ed piece Where do we Meddle Next? No wonder that we are not liked by the Iranians.
  • Half a century ago, Iran was very close to a real democracy. It had an elected legislature, called the majlis, and it had a repressive monarch, called the shah, and power veered uncertainly between them. In 1951, over the shah's objections, the majlis voted in a man named Mohammad Mosaddeq as prime minister. His big issue was nationalizing the oil companies.
  • But in 1952 the United States had an election for president, and the winner (Dwight Eisenhower) got more votes than anyone in Iran. That must explain why in 1953, in the spirit of democracy, the CIA instigated a riot and then staged a coup. Mosaddeq was arrested, the majlis was ultimately dissolved and the shah ran things his way, which involved torture and death for political opponents, caviar and champagne for an international cast of hangers-on, and no more crazy talk about nationalizing the oil companies.
Then there is immigration, a hot-button issue. Eugene Robinson presents the case for legal recognition of the wetbacks,illegal immigrants.

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