Thursday, March 24, 2005

America's real agenda is power

"It is not democracy that is on the march in the Middle East, " said Seamus Milne in the London Guardian. It is "the U.S. military."

The Americans have been crowing about the supposed spread of "freedom" since the Iraq war. Just look at the Iraqi and Palestinian elections, they say. Look at the Lebanese, agitating to get the Syrians out.

Now President Bush is self-righteously insisting that Syria must pull all its troops completely out of Lebanon before the May elections. Only when the troops are gone, he preaches, can the country have a vote that is truly free.

His statement "defies satire." Why didn't that logic apply "to elections held in occupied Iraq, where the U.S. has 140,000 troops patrolling the streets?" Syria, after all, has just 14,000 soldiers in Lebanon, and they are encamped in their mountain bases. And why didn't it apply to elections in "occupied Palestine?"

The rhetoric about democracy is a lie to mask the "relentless expansion of U.S. control." The Americans now have troops in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar--"and in not one of those countries did an elected government invite them in."

Seamus Milne, for the The Guardian (U.K.), quoted in The Week, 25 March 2005.


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