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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Provoking Islamic revolutions

The following letter appears in today's UK Independent:

"Sir: Let me see if I've got this right. I admit straight out that my grasp of the history of both Iran and Iraq is shaky, but I am relying on what I have learned this week.

"In 1953 in Iran the Brits and Yanks conspired to oust through a coup, in favour of the Shah, the secular and democratic government of Dr Moussadeq because he was going to nationalise what is now BP. (He took the odd view that it was their oil, not ours). Since the Shah imprisoned or killed off all his other opponents, by 1979 the only forces capable of organising the Iranian revolution were Ayatollah Khomeini and his mates. Result: Islamic state.

"In 2003 in Iraq, the Brits and Yanks conspired to invade in order to remove the secular though vile and tyrannical government of Saddam Hussein. The justification was that he was either dangerous or horrible; the latter was certainly true, the former has proved untrue. The objective was, in the words of George W Bush, to make Iraq "a beacon of democracy". But it transpires that Iraqi women and probably men will be losing freedoms, not gaining them. The draft constitution hammered out, with a great deal of help from US draughtsmen, not only establishes Islam as the religion of the state but Sharia law as "a fundamental source for legislation". Result: pre-Islamic state.

"Apart from all the usual reactions one could have - anger, despair, hysterical laughter, I told you so - I think my main conclusion is to support even more fervently the need for alternative fuels to oil. Not only for the sake of the planet, but for the sake of our moral honour."



Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Ant, thanks for posting this - I wouldn't have likely come across it otherwise.

What an excellent letter. And isn't it heartening to see a public figure who actually reads - and learns from - history. A far cry for the rabble posing as an elite in Australia.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 9:05:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

As importantly, the Liberal Democrats, as the third force in UK politics, actually operate on principle, unlike our two major parties here. Indeed, they are close to becoming the second force after the Tories. Maybe in a few years...

Sunday, August 28, 2005 9:19:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

True enough - the Economist certainly thought so in the lead up to the last election. Let's hope that a few years is all it takes. But how much more damage will be done in the meantime...

Sunday, August 28, 2005 9:28:00 pm  

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