Monday, June 27, 2005
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Reza Pahlavi, former crown prince of Iran, comments critically on the presidential election in Iran. Just listen to the interview on the following web sites.
ＴＶ３, Spain June 16
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Conspiracy theorists associate everything bad in the Middle East with America’s ambition. But their viewpoints are dubious. I would like to correct these misunderstandings.
1. The United States had a honeymoon period with Saddam Hussein in the past.
During the Iran-Iraq War, the Reagan administration tried to use Iraq a buffer against the theocratic regime in Iran. However, it was very cautious. Baathist ideology is a combination of radical pan-Arab nationalism and socialism. This is hardly acceptable to the United States.
During the Cold War, Saddam Hussein was one of the most pro-Soviet leaders in the Arab world. The Iraqi forces in those days were armed with Soviet and French made weapons. It was Valéry Giscard d’Estaing who aided Iraq build a nuclear power plant, even though Saddam Hussein was suspected of his ambition to make a nuclear bomb.
2. Everything bad in the Middle East results from the Palestine problem.
Most of the problems are rooted in the Arabs themselves. Arab states fight against Arab states. Iraq invaded Kuwait, and Syria invaded Lebanon. Also, Arabs have clashes between modernization and tradition. Ethnic minorities, like Kurds, Barbers, and Turkmen are severely oppressed. These troubles are not related to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Read the article “A World without Israel” by Joseph Joffe in Foreign Policy in January 2005. It is utterly wrong to blame America and Israel. You will understand it very well.
3. The United States should not have sponsored Afghan guerrillas. They caused the 9-11.
It is ridiculous. The United States should have allowed the Soviets to expand their influence throughout the Persian Gulf area and the Indian subcontinent? It is true that Islamic radicals have become the most serious threat to the United States and Free World. However, I have to remind you that the rise of such radicals dates from the Iranian Revolution. The Carter administration was excessively dovish against Shiite riots. Saddam Hussein would have never invaded an Iran, under the Pahlavi dynasty or pro-Western strong man. The loss of Iran has been critical to the Middle East security. People hardly criticize such a wimp foreign policy, although Islamic fundamentalists have been one of the most serious threats since then.
4. Middle East democracy is a plot driven by Bush, neocons, Jewish lobby, and oil industries, in order to maximize their business interest.
Are you kidding?
Whether liberal or conservative, it is American national interest to spread a stable democracy throughout the Middle East. Their disagreements lie only in the method to achieve this goal. The Iraqi National Congress, lead by Ahmad Chalabi, has been sponsored by the United States since the Clinton era. Moreover, non-partisan and liberal think tanks have been engaged in numerous researches on Middle East democratization.
It is America’s national project, and completely off the point to denounce Bush, neocons, Jewish lobby, and oil business.
Left-wingers and conspiracy theorists distort the public opinion. We need to have a balanced viewpoint.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
People talk too much about EU constitution, but it does not matter so much. NATO plays the most important role to decide the future of Europe, and the EU is the secondary actor. In other words, Europe must be open and Atlanticist. Today, European integration has expanded eastward. Also, Turkey is expected to join the EU in the future. However, I have to remind you that European integration is not entirely dependent on the Continental initiative. The United States has been endorsing this movement since the end of World War II. When the Cold War ended, NATO embraced “New Europe” and Turkey much earlier than the EU did. In view of these facts, we understand that European integration is a trans-Atlantic endeavor from the beginning. Expanded Europe is not homogeneous. It is not a good choice to impose a single constitution to the whole area of the Union, and interfere in the national sovereignty. NATO does not intervene in national politics. Furthermore, it is a friend in need to its member states, in case of crisis. Therefore, people do not have to worry so much about the ratification of EU constitution.
It is also important to notice substantial changes in the balance of power in Europe. The French referendum on May 29 voted against the constitution. As Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform, argues in his article in Foreign Affairs, there are two categories of states in Europe: core members like France and Germany, and peripheral members such as Britain, Poland, the Nordic, and the Baltic. In an expanded Europe, the influence of the Franco-German alliance will erode. The “non” vote will undermine French leadership in Europe furthermore. In addition, peripheral members enjoy buoyant economy these days, while core economies are stagnant. In a circumstance like this, initiatives by France, Germany, and Brussels bureaucrats are outdated.
Finally, it is necessary to understand why people voted against the constitution. First, people are scared of losing their national identity. Second, there is a clash between liberal expansionists and social integrationists. Finally, and the most importantly, European citizens distrust the constitution drafted by ENA bound elitists like Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and Jaques Chirac. Also, people are skeptic to Brussels interference in national security and economy. This is an era of grassroots democracy, and people are getting increasingly antagonistic to bureaucratic rule all over the world.
From these points, EU constitution was destined to be rejected. However, it does not matter. NATO is Europe.
Posted by Σ. Alexander at 12:17 AM