Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

Modern Diplomacy

The "gunboat diplomacy" which was a constant feature of British Empire's 19th and 20th century dealings with Persia has been picked up for a dreamy revival by the new empire -- a dream that this time may prove ready to turn into a real nightmare! Other perspectives seeing recent developments in the U.S. occupation of Iraq can be found here, here, here and here. President Bush's speech can be found here. (Unfortunately, the latter speech blames others for the problems caused directly by the occupation and the consequent and gradual destruction of Iraq's civil society. It seems that Iraq must bleed more before it is left to its own account: "We must expect more American and Iraqi casualties"!) Financial Time's editorial about the same, can be found here. The Washington Post reports the story and some poll results here and elsewhere in an editorial. Unfortunately, the editorial, while advocating some pragmatism, accepts some of the fiction told earlier repeating several false mantras when it comes to the region.

The WP also carries Zbigniew Brzezinski's column analyzing the president's speech. Of the old guard of U.S. diplomacy, he has the keenest view of the trends in the region. He observes: "America is acting like a colonial power in Iraq. But the age of colonialism is over. Waging a colonial war in the post-colonial age is self-defeating. That is the fatal flaw of Bush's policy." [Some have produced evidence that Brzenzinski, who served in President Carter's administration, was the American diplomat who gave the green light to Saddam to attack Iran when Iran had disbanded its military after the revolution and the hostage crisis. See for example, Noam Chomsky's Towards a New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There (1982 edition). So, Brzezinski is no dove.]

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