Thursday, June 23, 2005

More Fisk

ABC Interview: "I think there are going to be more assassinations"


I think its both an appreciation of how deeply ingrained the (often western-promoted) sectarian divisions are. They will take generations to undo. There's also a lot of cynicism about the willingness of the Americans to help undo them and support democratic governments they don't like - and on that, Fisk is well-justified. Iran, anyone?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/23/2005 12:18:00 PM

I'm saying that Iran had a democratic system of government before the Americans overthrew it and installed the Shah and his torturers in order to protect British and American oil interests from nationalisation. Or has that little fact just slipped from memory?

Of course sectarian divisions predate American involvement. Divide-and-rule was a standard trick from the colonial rulebook, and has been used by all the powers who have taken a piece of the Middle East over the past few centuries (notably the UK, France, and of course the Ottomans). This has laid a legacy of hate and suspicion that will take generations to undo, and make it difficult for democracy to grow. OTOH, what is going on in Lebanon is extremely promising - and I don't see Fisk denying that at all.

As for the US, if it wants to support democracy in the Middle East, the first thing it should do is stop supporting tyrants and torturers. It's made some welcome noises on that front, but in the case of Egypt for example the rhetoric falls far short of the reality. It should also go to great lengths to avoid the divide-and-rule tactics of the past. And on this front, its extremely disappointing to see US policymakers openly discussing using sectarian divisions (and sectarian death-squads) as a way of dealing with Sunni insurgents in Iraq...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/23/2005 03:17:00 PM