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Canberra watch « Previous | |Next »
December 8, 2006

The response by the Howard Government to the situation in Iraq, the mid-term Congressional elections and the Baker report is that nothing has changed apart from some minor adjustments to tactics. That was the line being presented throughout Question Time in the House of Representatives all this week to sharp questions being asked by a re-energised ALP. There were few doubts about Iraq, but many self-serving delusions about the Middle East on the Government side.


Who do they--Howard and Downer--- think they are kidding with all the bluff and bluster about chaos descending, running up the flag of appeasement, and the Baker Report justifing their position of business as usual etc etc? That report amounted to a repudiation of the President's democracy project in the Middle East? Do they take us citizens to be fools? Do they think we don't read and make judgements? The ground of Howard's moral certainity is a wasteland of death and destruction, not power used for virtuous ends through clean hands. Howard and Downer remain enwrapped in illusions.

The Iraq Study Group's recommendations on Iraq are a substantive change of strategy and an implicit rejection of Bush's foreign policy. The recommendations involve troop withdrawals, negotiations with Iran and Syria, shuttle diplomacy to get a peace process going between Israel and the Palestinians, and no mention democracy for Iraq or any other country in the Middle East.

Of course, Howard and Downer's bluff and bluster hides the fact that they now talk about stability in Iraq. Democracy has been quietly dropped. It is no longer a goal. It has gone the way of WMD. The Howard Government is looking increasingly isolated now that the ambitious project to reshape the Middle East and the whole international order in terms of Pax America has collapsed in the sand of Iraq. Howard remains enwrapped in the dark shadows of Iraq.

What remains unquestioned in Australia is the false neocon notion that the royal road to Jerusalem lay through Baghdad.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:56 AM | | Comments (5)


While we're talking about new "diplomatic" ways to deal with Iran and Syria, we need to note Iran's newest proposed "diplomacy" through the use of colors of hate.

We’re told that Iran is now preparing to enlarge the Nazis’ “dress code for Jews,” by ordering Jews to wear a yellow stripe on the front of their clothes while Christians wear a red badge and Zoroastrians display a blue cloth. That is one colorful prelude for a nuclear war that will envelop the world in “gross darkness” (Isa. 60:2).

I suppose some Muslims agree with the Iranian government’s desire to identify and thereby “protect” Muslims from interacting with “infidels,” through a rainbow of colors on their streets. But I’m sure not all Muslims approve, which means the rest of us have yet another way to differentiate between “friendly” Muslims and “hateful” ones — an impossible task that will cause even more personal misery to all involved.

Still, while the United States is trying to eliminate its own “white, black, brown, yellow and red” skin prejudices, Iran is ready to bring us an enlarged and colorful display of superiority, based on religious beliefs. What a preoccupation with color hatreds embrace! But when the prophesied “darkness” envelops the world, because too many people refused to enlarge their own understanding of God, no one will be able to see skin colors or cloth badges, to identify who is inferior! And I suspect that all who survive will be grateful for the sound of any human voices, without thought of anyone’s “color.”

that account leave out Iran's struggles with democracy, its embrace of civil society as a way to counterbalance strong state power, it's tradition of aspiring towards democracy and the loathing for the Shah's autocracy.

Gary, I visited your blog but you haven't talked about Iran recently. I thought I might find something more explicit than your brief comment. So, I want to remind you that Germany produced innumerable very helpful people in this world--which had no effect on the nation's crusade of hatred! The Iranian govt. waants to wipe Israel off the map--and they've publicly stated ther intentions--even as Hitler publicly stated many of his goals. The difference today is that we're talking about a nuclear war that will bring darkness to the whole world--while it's fulfilling the ancient prophcies of that darkness. Still, we're told, we could avoid it if we can learn to turn our hearts to each other. We will never accomplish that until we greatly enlarge our understanding of God, provided by all the Prophets from Abraham through Muhammad.

I've been travelling. I did notice this article by Peter Preston in the Guardian on Israel's reaction to the Baker Report. Preston says that the Baker Report states that the United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict. It says that there must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts."If not there will be no rest for Iraq, no spread of democracy, no rapprochement with Tehran - and no breakthrough in the campaign against terrorism.

I notice that the response by Israel is a negative one in that the attempt to create a linkage between the Iraqi issue and the Mid-East issue is wrong; military strikes against Tehran should be on the agenda and that it is a mistake to go Damascus to talk to Syria.So Iran and Syria must be excluded from negotiations over Iraq.

So Israeli rejects the Baker Report. That means the Israeli position is that military (not political) solutions are what is needed.

I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner, but this is a busy time of the year. As for Israel seeing this as a military problem--if you had lived for the last 50 years with bombs descending on you at any moment of the day or night, you'd know that this is a military problem! Worse yet, if you heard your "enemies" declaring that you and your nation should be wiped off the map, you'd be idiotic to think you can talk peace to such people.

But there is one avenue of conversation that could help the middle east and the whole world. We need to acknowledge that the world has embarked on a RELIGIOUS WAR, and the argument will end with a nuclear confrontation, unless enough people are willing to enlarge their understanding of God by learning from ALL the Prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Through a book, a website and a blog, I've been trying to persuade people to hear the Prophets, who never contradicted each other! But "believers" are devoted to their clergies, and their clergies are devoted to aggrandizing their own religion. Therefore, the "gross darkness" foretold by the Prophets and produced by a nuclear war, will come.