by Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
Global Research, August 2, 2007
Washington has dispatched its frontroom team, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to the Middle East, ostensibly to give the peace process a big push. In reality, they are acting as shrewd arms merchants, while at the same time talking of the struggle for people for freedom against oppression. Someone please order Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 as mandatory flight reading for them.
Indeed, echoes of Heller’s nerdy bombardier, Captain John Yossarian, who alerted the world to the insanity of modern capitalistic warfare more than anyone else, can be heard aplenty, eclipsing the trailblazers of Washington’s new manifest destiny who are “spreading Jeffersonian democracy” to the dark Middle East.
But don’t expect Rice to push for women’s suffrage in Saudi Arabia and other US client states when her plane lands in the oil region. Her obligatory “we will push for reform” is for domestic consumption. Not so with the rest of her rationale for the huge arms sales to the Saudis and a generous aid package to the other Arab “moderate”, Egypt, which recently shied away from normalizing ties with Iran precisely out of fear of losing Washington’s assistance. It all boils down to one word: Iran. read more