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US Retreat on Iran/Chavez Becomes Appeasement

By Scott Sullivan

05.11.05 | The US is retreating before Iran/Chavez on several fronts including Kofi Annan's trip to Iran; Chavez-Iranian nukes; Bolivia; and the Kurdish-Iranian destabilization of Iraq.

Annan Trip to Iran

Last week Iran's president drew world attention when he called for Israel to be "wiped from the map." Israel responded by calling for an immediate UNSC meeting and Iran's expulsion from the UN. The US declined to support both requests, in line with an "Iran engagement" strategy including Iran-US cooperation in Iraq and softer US policies on an expanded political role for Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank. Meanwhile, Kofi Annan announced he still intended to visit Iran next week on a previously scheduled trip despite renewed Israeli protests. So far, the US has not objected to Annan's trip. Also, Iran has reinforced its turn to hard line policies by withdrawing 40 ambassadors and senior diplomats from abroad for reassignment.

Chavez-Iranian nukes

In an interview before attending the Summit of the Americas in Argentina, President Bush gave his opinion on Venezuela's plan to acquire nuclear technology in cooperation with Argentina and Iran, saying that with the proper safeguards Chavez's plan would be acceptable. President Bush did not address the issue of Iran, which leaves open the option of Iranian participation.

Bolivia

In a major cave in to Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, the US has approved new election rules that will favor Morales and his fascist supporters in Bolivia's upcoming presidential elections on 12 December. Morales, Chavez, and Cuba's Prensa Latina news service have praised these new rules, so it is clear that Morales will gain. Morales becoming president of Bolivia will only formalize his title. Morales has been calling the shots in Bolivia since 2003, when he blockaded Bolivia's towns and cities to bring down sitting president Sanchez de Lozada. Last week Morales threatened to resume the blockades if the election rules were not decided in his favor. The US quickly gave way.

Iranian-Kurdish Subversion in Iraq

Iran, aided by separatist Kurds, has embarked upon a strategy of making Iraq ungovernable via civil war as a way of accelerating US plans for withdrawal.

The Kurds are retaking Kirkuk through the resettlement of tens of thousands on Kurds in Sunni areas, which at some point will touch off major confrontations with the Sunnis and Turkey, a US ally. For their part, Iran is tightening its control over southern Iraq, which will touch off significant intra-Shia strife (with Muqtada al-Sadr's militia), and intensify pressures to partition Iraq into three states. So far, the US is not resisting Iran or the Kurds.

In short, if the US fails to reverse course on these four issues, the US retreat will become a rout. The new global security managers, by default, would become Russia and China, who then would be forced to contain Chavez and Iran. Thus, a US failure to deal with Chavez and Iran today does not produce peace or stability, only the decline of US influence.



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