Going Nowhere Fast
We are in the ditch in the Middle East. As bad as you think it is watching TV, it's worse. It's not just Iraq but the whole pattern of America's dealings with the Arab world. People aren't just angry at America -- they've been that way to varying degrees since I first came here 27 years ago. What's worse is that they're giving up on us -- on our ability to make good decisions, to solve problems, to play the role of honest broker.So the US is universally hated in the mid east. That's OK with Cheney exactly what he wants. Cheney doesn't want to be liked - only feared. The second piece is by Christiane Amanpour,
Let's start with some poll numbers presented at the Doha conference by Shibley Telhami, a University of Maryland professor and a fellow of the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, which co-sponsored the conference with the Qatari foreign ministry. The polling was done last year by Zogby International in six countries that are usually regarded as pro-American: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In these six "friendly" countries, only 12 percent of those surveyed expressed favorable attitudes toward the United States. America's leaders have surpassed Israel's as objects of anger. Asked which foreign leader they disliked most, 38 percent named George Bush; Ariel Sharon was a distant second at 11 percent; and Ehud Olmert was third with 7 percent.
The poll data show a deep suspicion of American motives: 65 percent of those surveyed said they didn't think democracy was a real U.S. objective in the Middle East. Asked to name two countries that had the most freedom and democracy, only 14 percent said America, putting it far behind France and Germany. And remember, folks, this is coming from our friends.
Iranian official offers glimpse from within: A desire for U.S. ally
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- As I sat down recently with a senior Iranian government official, he urgently waved a column by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in my face, one about how the United States and Iran need to engage each other.Yes natural allies in the real war on terror. The terror threat doesn't come from the Shiites in Iran, or Iraq. The roots of al Qaeda and the Taliban is the extremist Sunni Wahhabi sect out of Saudi Arabia, enemies of the Shiite Iranians for 1400 years. Now the PNAC neocons, including Dick Cheney, have had Iran as a target since their own tyrant, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown in 1979. They controlled the Shah and so they controlled the resources of the country. Indirect imperialism. Now an attack on Iran will further destabilize the region leading to more war and less security. Cheney and his fellow lunatics are fully aware of this and it's just what they want. Dick Cheney is a classic megalomaniac - a man who wants above all else to be a tyrant. Like all tyrants Cheney and the rest of the PNAC crowd realize that one of the best ways to consolidate power is war - a constant state of war against real or concocted external enemies. No Dick Cheney is not incompetent. Instability in the middle east and the wars it will bring are exactly what he wants. That's why they will attack Iran. It's not about oil but power except for the power that comes from controlling the oil.
''Natural allies,'' this official said.
It was a surprising choice of words considering the barbs Washington and Tehran have been trading of late.
"We are not after conflict. We are not after crisis. We are not after war," said this official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But we don't know whether the same is true in the U.S. or not. If the same is true on the U.S. side, the first step must be to end this vicious cycle that can lead to dangerous action -- war."
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