Monday, 27 July 2015

The noisy American

I gave a little cheer when I first heard how Mike Huckabee had mounted a moderately successful campaign for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2008 without the aid of huge donations from vested interests.  I even hoped it might lead to a reversal of the trend whereby the richest campaign secures the nomination and thence the White House.

However, as his reactionary views became clearer my admiration cooled. It vanished altogether to be replaced by anger at his latest claim that the agreement over nuclear power developments in Iran hammered out after years of hard negotiation would lead Israelis "to the gas ovens". Leaving aside the fact that the Iranian leaders are hardly rejoicing at the terms of the agreement, so that Iran is not a threat to Israel in the near or even medium term, where is the evidence of annihilation camps in Iran today?

There is some evidence of discrimination against Jews, but not to the extent of many other Islamic states in the region, including some of the United States' close friends. This wikipedia article estimates there are still around 90,000 Jews in Iran, down from historic levels before the Islamic revolution, admittedly. However, the seeds of this revolt were sown by the US/British intercession in the 1950s which replaced a constitutional monarchy with autocratic rule by the Shah leading to a police state systematically removing all moderate as well as socialist opposition.

A more prosperous Iran does not mean a less prosperous Israel. On the contrary, raising the economic level of one player should help the whole region.

Pyle, Graham Greene's Quiet American, naïvely believed that a "third force" would help matters in Indo-China. Instead, his efforts were destabilising. Greene's novel was fiction but clearly based on his observations of American interventions abroad, both official and the deniable.

I suggest that Mr Huckabee sticks to domestic matters for the remainder of his campaign and leaves it to the UN to police the Iran agreement.

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