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View Diary: Bush fawns over the U.A.E. (148 comments)

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  •  and yet Iran is sufficiently democratic (1+ / 0-)
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    that political activists have tried to work for change through elections. Iran is far from perfect, but it's problems are different and as far as I know don't include slave-holding.

    •  No but . . . (0+ / 0-)

      They just torture and kill gays for example. Iran has one of the worst records of human rights violations of any country in the world.

      Also to call Iran a democracy is ludicrous. This is a country whose government is completely controlled by the ruling mullahs and as previously stated approve all candidates for office.

      The countries in the Middle East are all monarchies, theocracies, or some garden variety dictatorship. Israel is the lone democracy.

      What would you have Bush or any President do? You criticize him when he wants to force his beliefs on a country and criticize him when he excuses a country's beliefs we don't believe in. Do you want him to go back and again start alienating every country in the world because they don't meet our standards of behavior? While I cannot argue with a single point you made, I am  not sure what you would want a President to do with that?

      •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

        Well, I don't call Iran a democracy. I say it is "sufficiently democratic" that Iranians hope to reform it from within. I don't deny for a second the horrific aspects of Iranian repression. That repression does appear to be resisted pretty widely inside Iran, though.

        What do I want the president to do? Speak to reality. Pretending that the U.A.E. is a model society, or that Bahrain (as he said earlier on Sunday) is a democracy, depresses democratic and human rights activists in the region (as the WaPo article I linked to describes).

        •  The Devil You Know or the Devil You Don't Know? (0+ / 0-)

          Probably best not to say anything rather than lie or inflame stable relations.

          What I have read and learned about these Middle East countries is that we can do little to alter their culture and system of government. They have to do it themselves if they choose to.

          We imposed a ruler on Iran with the Shah who was friendly to us but brutalized his own countrymen with his secret police, SAVAK. That resulted in the opportunity for the theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini. That regime has also tortured and brutalized their own countrymen. Our initial response to the overthrow of the Shah was the train a counterinsurgency force led by the former Chief of Savak Mansur Rafisadeh and CIA informant, to take back the country prior to the 1980 election. If the mullahs are one day replaced, who will be the replacement? More of the same?

          Right now with the fiasco in Iraq one would hope that we can pursue a stable Middle East and engage all countries as they are and bring about a settled peace with Israel and all other countries including Palestine.

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