Ed’s Weblog

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Iran again

Posted by Ed on May 10, 2003

In The Weekly Standard, mouthpiece for the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), William Kristol, chairman of PNAC, writes

The liberation of Iraq was the first great battle for the future of the Middle East. The creation of a free Iraq is now of fundamental importance, and we must do what it takes to make a decent, democratic Iraq a reality. But the next great battle–not, we hope, a military battle–will be for Iran. We are already in a death struggle with Iran over the future of Iraq. The theocrats ruling Iran understand that the stakes are now double or nothing. They can stay in power by disrupting efforts to create a pluralist, non-theocratic, Shia-majority state next door–or they can fall, as success in Iraq sounds the death knell for the Iranian revolution.

and

So we must help our friends and allies in Iraq block Iranian-backed subversion. And we must also take the fight to Iran, with measures ranging from public diplomacy to covert operations. Iran is the tipping point in the war on proliferation, the war on terror, and the effort to reshape the Middle East. If Iran goes pro-Western and anti-terror, positive changes in Syria and Saudi Arabia will follow much more easily. And the chances for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement will greatly improve.

“If Iran goes pro-Western”? This type of statement clearly shows what the ambitions of PNAC are, and that they have nothing to do with liberation or democracy – except perhaps the ‘liberation’ of new markets for US companies. We should of course remember that PNAC does not officially formulate US government policy, but they are undoubdetly very influencial and US foreign policy is certainly until now following the blueprint with unnerving fidelity (see my other postings about PNAC). Witness George Bush’s announcement of a US-Middle East Free Trade Agreement. According to the Guardian’s report:

To quality, nations would have to meet certain requirements, such as renouncing and combatting terrorism and agreeing to lower their own barriers to trade and investment by U.S. companies. They would also have to agree to drop boycotts of Israel.

It is also clear that the US intends only to allow US-approved ‘democracy’, regardless of what the majority Shia population of the country wants. From Warblogging:

The United States will give Iraq self-determination to a point ? but it will not allow any kind of government it doesn’t like to flourish in its new protectorate. It has already told Iraqis what it wants in return for “liberation”: military bases, oil, a Western-style secular democracy and stability for the region. What if the Iraqis don’t want to give us military bases? What if they want an Iranian-style theocracy instead of a Western-style democracy? Well, as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says, that “ain’t gonna happen.”

George Paine of Warblogging has regular articles about PNAC.

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