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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Selective thinking.

Following on from a conversation that got a little heated, I was set to thinking about our 'enemies' and our 'allies'. Going back some way, the Arab world and beyond was a playground for the West. Iraq and Iran in particular rose to power and fell from grace with monotonous regularity. At one point, the CIA backed the coup which saw the Shah, a wholly owned subsidiary of USA Inc., come to power. With movement of oil jeopardised, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi reached agreement with Iraq, giving his nation, and consequently his American paymasters, control of the Shatt-al-Arab, thus avoiding the good ol' USA from having to pay reasonable prices for their oil. Then of course, when Iranians had had enough of the Shah's cruelty, they had the temerity to overthrow him and install an Islamist government. Well, we can't have that, can we? Who do they think they are, exercising democracy before we can give it to them? 

Enter our hero, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, dashing, good looking and, get this, obedient. At the West's request, he starts a war against those pesky Iranians, who now believe they can nationalise their own oil industry. So for a while that kept Iran busy and things started to go our way. Meanwhile, those bloody commies invaded Afghanistan, making us so angry. I mean, most of us don't know where Afghanistan is, and they're only towel heads after all, but it's the PRINCIPLE of the thing, isn't it? OK, no problem, we’ll just arm and fund those dashing Mujahideen chappies. They’ll take care of those nasty, baby-eating communists and then they’ll be our friends, let us build a gas pipeline through the middle of their country and we’ll all live happily ever after. How did that work out? The ungrateful little rogues bit the hand that fed them. Imagine that.

I hear you say that we have to learn from history, but I mean, it’s the principle of the thing. We can’t have them telling us what we can do in our country. I mean their country. No, that can’t be right. Oh, now I’m all confused. Whose country is it? Anyway, even if it is theirs, we know what’s best for them, don’t we? We’ve been travelling the world selflessly sorting other countries’ problems out for centuries.

Now, I know this might seem to you to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, and you might think it’s too serious an issue to treat so glibly, but come on, can we seriously believe that we’ve done a favour for the Middle East by constantly interfering, to the extent that we actually believed we could ‘install’ democracy in a country which doesn’t want it, and whose majority is the last grouping we would want in power? Why would we want the Shia majority, closely associated with Iran, to control Iraq’s oil? My facetiousness is well founded. If you actually believe we can get out of Iraq with any degree of dignity at all, I have to say you started it.

Bye the bye, when I refer to 'us', I'm thinking loosely of the UK and the USA, although some of our friends, probably bored with throwing shrimps on the barbie or hunting bears, occasionally like to join in the fun.

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