Tag Archives: Arab Spring

Barry, don’t do it again

(FOX News and the rest of the GOP gasbaggery establishment were outraged when Obama didn’t support recently overthrown Arab leaders who had been our friends – even if their countrymen had not. Wonder what they’ll say now?)

Palavi ascends the Peacock Throne

In October of 1979, under political pressure, Jimmy Carter made the disastrous decision to allow the newly overthrown dictator, the Shah of Iran, to come to the US for ‘medical treatment’. That didn’t work out so well.  A month later, the US Embassy in Tehran was stormed by angry Iranians. They took 66 Americans hostage and held them until the day of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981.

When the Shah requested ‘medical’ asylum, US-Iranian relations were already shaky and Carter himself at first was opposed to the idea. But he allowed himself to be convinced since the Shah had been one of ‘our’ guys, pretty much installed on the Peacock Throne by the CIA.

And here we go again – sorta. I worried about this in a post last month. And now the Obama Administration is going ahead. They’ve agreed to take in President Salah of Yemen – who resigned yesterday (leaving his own people in charge)  – for ‘medical’ treatment. (Salah had already been treated in Dubai – where the care is superb.) He says he’ll return. Yup.

Certainly Yemen isn’t Iran and the recently ‘resigned’ Salah isn’t the Shah. But his authoritarian regime killed hundreds of protestors and relations between us are not particularly friendly.

Do we ever learn?

 

Dear Elvis, do we never learn from history?

As the Islamists of 1979 were overthrowing their government, Jimmy Carter opened the door to a terrified Shah, citing ‘legitimate medical reasons’.  There was political pressure from the Right to do so as Iran had been a US client state since our CIA (with the Brits) overthrew the last democratically elected Iranian government in 1953.

It went so well that irate Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage, holding them for 444 days.

Now the president of Yemen,  Ali Abdullah Saleh, is being admitted – for ‘legitimate medical reasons’. (The link doesn’t confirm that the decision has been made, but The NY Times says it’s a done deal.)

As Peter, Paul and Mary asked so many years ago, “When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?”.

The Arab Spring changes everything

Watching shoes dropping almost every day lately in the Arab world, I am reminded of the Renaissance, the end of the Dark Ages – when Europe dropped its centuries of dark religious tyranny and invented the modern world. If there is a parallel, this Arab Spring will be many years unfolding.

I stumbled across this earlier today before I had to leave (long day out!). It’s an interesting take on bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Pakistan – the whole mix of who, what, when, where and why. It’s in Asia Times and is a good read.

It is hard to conclude otherwise, that Bin Laden died this week because people who knew his whereabouts chose this particular moment to inform the US authorities. What has changed? The simple answer is: everything has changed. Instability in the Muslim world has reached a level that makes Bin Laden redundant.