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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, December 05, 2005

Taking a hit

This is encouraging news in the anti-imperial struggle:

"People in Arab nations believe the Iraq war has brought less peace, more terrorism and contrary to Washington's claims, will result in less democracy, a new poll indicates.

"When asked which country was the biggest threat to them, most respondents chose Israel or the United States, while France was nominated as the country most respondents would like to be a superpower.

"The University of Maryland/Zogby International poll published on Friday was conducted in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in October."

Western-backed Arab dictatorships should be worried about such results. After all, countries lacking a free press or freedom of speech are likely to turn against their governments for supporting an unpopular US administration. Furthermore, US-backed regimes in the Arab world may not have supported the Iraq war publicly, but rest assured they're still keen for US largesse.

The West doesn't want real democracy in the Middle East because governments unfriendly to the West would likely win open and fair elections.


Blogger Shabadoo said...

Considering that France still acts like it has an empire in much of the world, I'm not sure that foreign meddling is a problem. Perhaps encouraged by the Fracifata they're just playing a long game and figuring it's only a matter of time before France (or some Islamic-Vichy hunk of it) becomes the metropolitan centre of the Islamic world? If so, buy Bordeaux futures - it'll be like land, they're not making it any more!

Anyway, China came in number two, so I don't think this really tells us a helluva lot, and is hardly the death knell of the, ahem, "American imperial project".

Monday, December 05, 2005 11:54:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Always the optimist Shab.

Democracy and freedom are such sad slogans, I just hope they are hung up to dry before too long. I cannot bear to hear Bush using such words out of context any longer.

Regarrdless of how you consider France to conduct itself, the fact that they are regarded so much more hilgly than the US speaks for itself. Good old fashioned intelligence and diplomacy still commands respect.

It wil be interesting to see how much longer the governmetns fo Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia can continue to give such unqualified support for the current US foreign policy.

Monday, December 05, 2005 12:07:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Oh yeah...the French are really strong at intelligence and diplomacy. Rainbow Warrior, anyone?

You mock freedom and democracy and call the other side fascist. How ironic. Guess like all lefties, you just want a tough guy strongman to tell the little people what to do.

Monday, December 05, 2005 12:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, December 05, 2005 12:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post Antony - don't worry about the knockers. You are right, it is good news to see that not everybody is fooled. Remember, Australia spent several hundred million on the illegal war in Iraq, then ten million for Iraqi reconstruction... and fifteen million on fridge magnets!

Samir from The View From Fes

Monday, December 05, 2005 12:41:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Rainbow Warrior? Ahemm, how could I foget. I can see how against the backdrop of detroying a country, sinking a boat 2 decades ago would spring to mind. Excuse me while I grab a tissue.

And yes, the obligatory tough guy strong man straw man argument. Isn't that the image that Dubya is constantly trying to portray? I mean, who could forget the oversized cod piece he sported on the Abe Lincoln before his Mission Accomplished speech?

What is it with you reich wing nutters? Do you all subscribe to the Lame Book of Left Wing Taunts? Isn't it about time they published a new edition? The old one is lookng like a worn out 70's commic book.

Monday, December 05, 2005 12:57:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

OK, here's some more recent French "diplomacy" in action.

And no, the French never loot.

In many African countries, the number of French officials INCREASED after "independence", and most of West/Central Africa is still treated as a semi-fiefdom by Paris.

Monday, December 05, 2005 1:39:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

More French in Action: Complicity in genoicide?

I especially love this bit, all you ICJ-lovers: "The Paris army tribunal - the only court that can try French troops for crimes committed abroad - will decide whether to take up the complaint."

Good thing they're not all unilateral like the 'Mericans!

Monday, December 05, 2005 1:48:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Great stuff Shab.

Yes the French have a sorry history, and remnants of that contiue today. Same thing with the British, the Spanish and Portugese.

Now, why don't you try and spend a fraction of that effort digging up dirt on the US, and you efforts will yield a tenfold volume of incriminating examples.

Monday, December 05, 2005 1:49:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

I love these horseshit arguments about the Frogs being not nice either. It's like having a really rotten kid and your stupid wife says well Mr and Mrs so & so's kid down the road is bad too. Ooh, now I feel better, and I have no reason to criticize my dope smoking, butterfly wings pulling, psychotic kid ever again.

Monday, December 05, 2005 3:16:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Samir wrote...

...and fifteen million on fridge magnets!

Worth every penny, Samir. Since I got mine no low down dirty terrorist scum has succeeded in blowing up my house and thats despite leaving it in the unopened plastic bag it came in. I'm sure it would be even more effective on the fridge door as its makers intended! ;)

Monday, December 05, 2005 6:31:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...


I think you credit the Arab masses with far too much intelligence. Come on, do you REALLY think that the Arab masses know that France voted against invading Iraq because France has been for decades the western nation most entwined with Saddam and lucrative military/chemicals dealings?

Do you really think the Arab masses know that Israel's nuclear capabilites are all provided by France?

Don't you think the Arab masses might have a little more credibility if their "opinions" were expressed through ballot boxes? A process that might start if they can raise their per capita GDPs above being only 1/3 of the only democracy in the region? ;)

Monday, December 05, 2005 9:03:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

I dunno lefty.

Spaking of the collective intelligence of the Arab masses sounds extremely presumptious, of not extremely biggoted. If you had pent any time int he Middle East, you might be surprised how aware the average man onthe street is. Certainyl, far better informed than the average US who can't indentify most countries on the map, or think that Tasmania should be the US's next target for pre-emotive strikes.

I'm pretty sure teh Arab masses knew that Cheney lobbied for the removal of trade santions with Iran while he was CEO of Halliburton.

I'm pretty sure that the Arab masses knew that the 3 newest sumarines in teh Israeli arsenal come from Germany.

I'm sure the Arab masses woudl have more respect for ballot boxes in the Middle Easy, if the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were forced to hold legitimate elections, rather than having their dictatorships propped up by the US?

I wonder what would happen to that impressive per capita GDP, if that democracy you referred to wasn't receiving massive welfare cheques from a certain benefactor?

Amd perhaps the average GPD might improve a notch if the oil proiducing natios weren't forced to provide oil at artificially low prices to teh US.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 12:27:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

The Arab masses also believe that Jews were told not to go into work on 9/11, that George W. Bush is Jewish, and that if they don't supplicate 5 times a day to a black meteorite in the desert, they're going to H-E-double hockey sticks!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 7:57:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

And most of us now have every reason to believe that you are am imbecile.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 8:59:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...


Somehow I think that if the nations of the middle east were to have their "welfare" completely cut off, it would not be Israel that would be most affected.

'Forced" to prudece oil at "artificially low" prices. Jesus, what is "real" low price? Last I checked oil was over $50 a barrel. Oh to be so oppressed!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 11:50:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

I guess that remains to be seen lefty, but I doubt that withotu US support, Israel would be a self-sustaining.

Yes we are paying a lot for oil these days, but it's purely relative. Following the pil crisis of the 70's, the US and Saudi Arabia entered into an agreement whereby the proce of oil would be kept low (i.e.e by maximinizing output) in return for US offering support and protection to them.

The spikes in oil priceds have been largely driven by speculation in NY and London.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 12:28:00 am  

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