May 2005


kermit.jpg  An Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Iran: What the American people failed to realize is that the deep anger and hatred that the Iranian people had against the U.S. government was rooted in a horrible, anti-democratic act that the U.S. government committed in 1953. That was the year the CIA secretly and surreptitiously ousted the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, a man named Mohammad Mossadegh, from power, followed by the U.S. government’s ardent support of the shah of Iran’s dictatorship for the next 25 years.

Mossadegh was one of the most famous figures in the world. He shook an empire and changed the world. People everywhere knew his name. There were two major problems with Mossadegh, however, as far as both the British and American governments were concerned. First, as an ardent nationalist he was a driving force behind an Iranian attempt to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a British company that had held a monopoly on the production and sale of Iranian oil since the early part of the 20th century. Second, fiercely independent, Mossadegh refused to do the bidding of the U.S. government.

The 1953 CIA coup in Iran was named “Operation Ajax” and was engineered by a CIA agent named Kermit Roosevelt, [who] skillfully used a combination of bribery of Iranian military officials and CIA-engendered street protests to pull off the coup… [resulting] with a subsequent 25-year, U.S.-supported dictatorship, which included one of the world’s most terrifying and torturous secret police, the Savak.

Why Are Nukes Okay For You But Not For Us?
Bombing Iran

smokestacks.jpg US fires warning shot over Iran nuclear talks: The US warned European ministers yesterday to stand firm in negotiations with Iran and reject any proposal that could allow the partial resumption of Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.

The warning, given as the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK prepared to meet Iranian negotiators in Geneva today, underlines the risk that the talks might break up or lead to increased transatlantic tension.

While the US suspects Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Tehran insists its programme is peaceful.

U.S., NATO nuclear policies ‘immoral’: “If I were to characterize U.S. and NATO nuclear policies in one sentence, I would say they are immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, very, very dangerous in terms of the risk of inadvertent or accidental launch and destructive of the non-proliferation regime that has served us so well,” [Robert McNamara] said.

He said it was dangerous to believe that countries without the bomb and which face serious security risks would ignore the nuclear option while Washington continues to regard a large atomic arsenal as vital to its own defense.

The United States spent the first two weeks of the [UN Non Proliferation Treaty] conference quietly seeking to block discussions of nuclear disarmament-related commitments and decisions reached at 1995 and 2000 NPT review conferences.

US Nuclear Hypocrisy

net.jpg Little minds do not often see the big picture. There is a French expression to describe these people: They only see as far as the tip of their nose. And the French in the No camp are just that — little people.

They have brought up issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the EU Constitution. Issues like their domestic economy, French unemployment levels and their unhappiness with Chirac. They are also afraid of having Muslim Turkey in the EU–and it does not come into their little minds that the Turks being outnumbered, could be more hesitant of Christians than they are of them. The French are also afraid of the free-market policies in the Constitution, spoiled as they are with their French social perks and social security advantages.

Petty. That is all quite very petty. You see, there will be very serious repercussions of a negative vote and the major one is that for the Euro. The euro will challenge the dollar — and this alone has serious implications for the world. If the European Union is to be a strong force in the global arena, it will need a foundation, a framework based on a Constitution. But the European Union should be able to move along without a Constitution. It has done so since its inception. Great Britain is ruled without one.

There should never have been a referendum in the first place. How can France allow waiters, factory workers, street sweepers, farmers, truck drivers, les ramasseurs du crottes decide the destiny of Europe? They don’t know what the issues are, nor where their next piece of baguette will come from if Europe should fail. France should have left this decision to the Parliament.

Update:

• In Tokyo, 85% of French expatriates voted YES.

Farmers and the Working Classes Top the No Vote: French farmers, workers and public servants showed the strongest hostility to the EU constitution, while students, professionals and wealthier people were more keen to support it.

Citizens with higher education diplomas proved to be more in favour of the treaty than those with no degrees or with basic qualifications. Those earning significantly above average standards also showed more support for the constitution.

French men gave a louder “non” to the constitution than women, with 57 per cent voting against…

French Voters Reject EU Charter
Suddenly, the Euro Isn’t Looking So Good
Dutch “No” vote sends euro currency to new low
The EU and the Euro: Can This Union Be Saved?

another update: Chirac rebuffs Blair on EU budget: Even as he called for unity among European Union members in the midst of a crisis over the bloc’s future, Chirac said he was not prepared to discuss changes to the EU’s agricultural policy, which greatly benefits French farmers.
(French farmers… and they voted “NO”. Tsk, tsk…)

update: EU Does Not Need Constitution

carmen.jpg Bush: Clap Me or No EU Speech: George Bush pulled out of a speech to the European Parliament when MEPs wouldn’t guarantee a standing ovation. Senior White House officials said the President would only go to Strasbourg to talk about Iraq if he had a stage-managed welcome.

A source close to negotiations said last night: “President Bush agreed to a speech but insisted he get a standing ovation. His people also insisted [that] there [be] no protests, or heckling.”

Mr Bush’s every appearance in the US is stage-managed, with audiences full of supporters.

global warming.jpeg Europeans Would Realize Kyoto Treaty Without U.S.: President Bush and leaders of the 15 European Union countries clashed sharply Thursday over global warming policy, with the Europeans saying they would move to implement the Kyoto climate treaty without the United States.

“We say we agree to disagree,” Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said while sharing a platform with a grim-faced Bush. “The European Union will stick to the Kyoto Protocol and go for a ratification process. The U.S. has chosen another policy.” Bush reiterated his objections to the treaty.

Others were [also] miffed by a call from Bush for expansion of the EU as well as the NATO military alliance. “I strongly believe in NATO expansion, and I believe that the EU ought to expand, as well,” Bush said. The EU has plans to expand, but European leaders are sensitive about having policy dictated by the United States.

Chris Patten, EU commissioner for external affairs, said that because the United States isn’t an EU member, it wasn’t the Americans’ concern. “I don’t imagine for one moment the United States intends to overlook that rather important consideration,” Patten said.

euro_pipeline_map203.gif Chirac slams Bush over Turkey’s EU bid: Bush publicly said before talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday: “I will remind the people of this good country that you ought to be given a date by the EU for your eventual acceptance into the EU.”

Bush Says: Admit Turkey to EU: “I appreciate so very much the example your country has set on how to be a Muslim country and at the same time a country which embraces democracy and rule of law and freedom,” Bush said.

Giant Caspian Oil Pipeline Opens: Oil is set to begin flowing from the Caspian Sea for the first time after a £2bn pipeline opened on Wednesday. Starting in Azerbaijan, the 1,600km pipeline will pass to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

The pipeline is a strategically important non-Russian, non-Middle Eastern source of oil.

Washington Post | Our Man in Baku: Ilham Aliyev was inaugurated as president of the oil-rich Muslim country of Azerbaijan three months ago after an election condemned by international observers as blatantly fraudulent. When members of the opposition tried to protest, they were brutally beaten by police. There followed a massive, nationwide crackdown… A new report by Human Rights Watch documents numerous cases of torture, including severe beatings, electric shock, and threats of rape against the opposition leaders.

Azerbaijan might look like a good place for President Bush to start implementing his frequently declared policy of “spreading freedom” to the world, [but] the president and his top aides have embraced Mr. Aliyev. The administration waived congressional restrictions to grant Azerbaijan $3 million in military aid and is winding up to give still more. The Pentagon is talking with Azeri officials about the possible use of [former Russian] bases for U.S. operations. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld visited Baku last month to confer with Mr. Aliyev.

The Guardian | A pro-western regime in Kabul should give the US an Afghan route for Caspian oil: The invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a campaign against terrorism, but it may also be a late colonial adventure. Afghanistan is as indispensable to the regional control and transport of oil in central Asia as Egypt was in the Middle East.

Afghanistan has some oil and gas of its own, but not enough to qualify as a major strategic concern. Its northern neighbours, by contrast, contain reserves which could be critical to future global supply. But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan.

America has quietly acquiesced in its conquest of Afghanistan. [American oil company] Unocal invited some of the leaders of the Taliban to Houston, where they were royally entertained. The company suggested paying these barbarians 15 cents for every thousand cubic feet of gas it pumped through the land they had conquered. For the first year of Taliban rule, US policy towards the regime appears to have been determined principally by Unocal’s interests.

Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from central Asia to the Arabian sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan.

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