Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Rant On Sanctions and Iran, Safe From My Livingroom

Mahmoud Abbas
Peter Beinart

"America doesn't have as much money and power as we once thought. We can no longer conduct foreign policy on a blank check." - Peter Beinart

It turns out that the Israeli commando raid on the humanitarian flotilla almost upset the UN vote on sanctions against Iran. Iran was pretty desperate to sink the sanction vote, they don't want to appear as having an increasingly hardliner government, nor do they want to become more isolated economically. Most of all, the Revolutionary Guards don't want any of their profits cut, now that they have wrestled their way in charge of everything. Iran was all set to bring one of their own cargo ships and try to float it past the blockade into Gaza. They viewed it as another source of freedom denied for the citizens of Gaza, others saw it as provocation towards WW111. I read a report that Hamas had sent a team of frogmen to rescue one of the flotilla ships, but they were captured by Israeli commandos. This seems kinda untrue, just from the standpoint that Hamas would have frogmen...

Israel went on the record with the NY Times, claiming that they helped influence China's decision to vote for the sanctions: "In February, a high-level Israeli delegation traveled to Beijing to present alleged evidence of Iran’s atomic ambitions. Then they unveiled the ostensible purpose of their visit: to explain in sobering detail the economic impact to China from an Israeli strike on Iran — an attack Israel has suggested is all but inevitable should the international community fail to stop Iran from assembling a nuclear weapon.

“The Chinese didn’t seem too surprised by the evidence we showed them, but they really sat up in their chairs when we described what a pre-emptive attack would do to the region and on oil supplies they have come to depend on,” said an Israeli official with knowledge of the meeting and who asked for anonymity so as not to upset his Chinese counterparts.

Whether the Israeli show-and-tell persuaded Beijing to join the proposed sanctions announced by the White House late last month may never be known. But the episode demonstrates how Israel — a small country with limited influence on China — has found ways to engage an emerging superpower whose geopolitical heft is increasingly vital to the Jewish state." Israel's willingness to go behind our back to get what it wants could easily have gone the other way, as China has typically reacted badly to bullying behavior.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad later claimed that the US bullied China into voter their way, but it seems that China's leadership didn't appreciate his comments. While he was in Shanghai for the world Expo this week, he was snubbed by China's leaders, no meetings or press conferences took place, he was ignored and left to wander the Expo with his entourage. China had a more forceful reaction to America's selling munitions to Taiwan, by not allowing Sec of Defense Robert Gates to visit, and claiming that he sees the Chinese military as the enemy, not as friends... Ahmadinejad also tried to talk tough towards Russia, warning them not to make an enemy in Iran, but Dmitry Medvedev laughed at him and told him not to engage in demagoguery...

This weekend there were to be rallies and green movement people taking to the streets once again in Tehran, but it was canceled because of the two million thug Basiji who were brought in from all around the country. Too much threat of violence, but I wonder if the Disney films will still be shown? Many Iranian government officials keep trying to downplay last year's protests as having any importance. They keep promoting the nuclear program as a form of foreign influence, trying to rally the citizens around a manufactured and trumped up perceived threat.

To the other Arab nations, they try to portray their government as naturally supporting all Islamic revolutionary movements, specifically the Palestinian movement. Again, outside influences from Israel and the US, which tries to suppress the Palestinians, also seeks to destabilize Iran because of its support for Hamas. All of the streetside violence in Tehran was instigated by foreigners, none from the good, green citizens of Iran, who would rather behave that get their butts kicked and tortured in jail by the stern parents that the clergy has become... Nobody seems to be buying it, especially the countries that have had a build up of stability and trade in the region. An escalation of hostilities will polarize the region, and a nuclear Iran will throw all of the hard earned alliances into chaos.

Easing the Gaza blockade and resolving the two-state solution will end any legitimacy that the Iranian government and Hamas has. If that is accomplished, there will no longer be a need for an attack weasel like Ahmadinejad, and the Grand Ayatollah can then remove him, and social reforms will continue to take place inside Iran at an incremental pace. Their revolution will again take place at the ballot box, proving that Iran actually does have the largest democratic state in the Middle East, instead of the largest dysfunctional democracy... But first, those damned right wing wackos in the Israeli government have to be dragged to the negotiating table and get 'er done... Oh yeah, and will someone please free Corporal Gilad Shalit, he's been in jail almost as long as bin Laden has been held in Iran...

 A scary thought, but the right wing elements inside the Israeli government would get along fine with the right wing wackos in the Iranian government, since their world-view is both so equally narrow-minded. Mix in some extremist Wahhabis, some Afghani Talibans, strip them all of their nationalism, and they could easily resemble a tea party rally, minus the prattling about the constitution... Hell, the US oil companies alreadt threw a BBQ for the Afghan Talibans back before we invaded their country. Something about wanting to build a pipeline across their country and ending in Turkey, who was more puppet-like. They even had Taliban training manuals printed up at the University of Nebraska Press...

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