Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Trumping up more War

Clinton's fault? The liberal press? How about the academics? No? How about we make the jump all the way back to the seventies, to justify the current situation in Iraq. That not only takes a bit of desperation, but some real astute spin as well. Then again, that is what you would expect from a politician. But from a Reverend?

Yet this is exactly what Reverend Lou Sheldon is doing for his audience these days. So let's have a look at Reverend Sheldon's blaming of the current situation in the Middle East on Jimmy Carter, and his handling of history regarding that era.

According to Reverend Sheldon, Carter may well be judged as the worst president in history. Well be? His presidency ended 26 years ago, and he doesn't think the verdict is in? Even more interesting is that the title of Worst President ever is often applied to Reverend Sheldon's idol, George W. Bush. Sheldon's reason is that Carter is responsible for the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East because Carter turned against the Shah of Iran late in his Presidency, and the Ayatollah Khomeini replaced the Shah, ushering in the current quagmire in the Middle East.

So let's look at these facts: First, Sheldon states that because of the overthrow of the pro-Western Shah, we have what we have in the Middle East. Never mind what Bush has done. That apparently doesn't count. What Sheldon isn't telling you is that the Shah was a dictator who ruled ruthlessly, wouldn't support a democracy, and was returned to power in 1953 after the CIA under a Republican president helped depose a Prime Minister that nationalized the Iranian oil supply. So the real issue wasn't fundamentalism, it was oil, as it is now. So apparently pro-Western is okay with traditional values despite being a dictatorship with bloody hands.

Second; Sheldon tells his audience that the Soviet Union saw Carter's weakness and invaded Afghanistan. Really? The Russians recognize Carter had issues with Iran, so they invade the neighbor. That sounds like Bush logic to me. And to "misunderestimate" even more, the Soviets decide to invade a couple weeks before Carter loses his office. Now history has informed us that Carters aid Brzezinski claimed they lured the Soviets into Afghanistan, to be their own Viet Nam. One author however claims that much of this information was withheld from Carter. But even given the time line, the only thing Carter authorized was a propaganda campaign against the Soviets. the real assistance to the mujhadeen and Osama Bin laden was undertaken by the Reagan administration that took office in January of 1980, three weeks after the invasion of Afghanistan, and almost two months after the election that replaced Carter. More and more the Afghan invasion sounds just like the thinking that propelled the Bush invasion of Iraq.

The often overlooked facts are that the Afghans sought an alignment with the USSR because of the American alignment with it's regional contestants, which include Pakistan and Iran, and we know that the Shah came to power with a US intervention in 1953. Hence, when it came to be needed, the Afghans turned to their ally when needed, and not because they saw that Carter was weak. The Soviet aligned faction in Afghanistan sought help when they wanted it, and to the place that had provided the weapons, assistance, and military training they had used for a decade prior to Jimmy Carter.

And yet these same twisted facts are what Christian groups including the Traditional Values Coalition are telling the far right wing of America. And to what end? So that the war machine in Washington can further it's efforts in the Middle East.

Shockingly, this is being done blindly. These right wing groups have completely forgotten, in their world of manipulated facts, that the Soviet Union was bankrupted and dissolved after ten years of a conflict in Afghanistan that they didn't win. So what makes these imperialists think that the US can do anything different in Iraq, when the policies it has followed so far have produced little but chaos?

So in direct contradiction to their own Prince of Peace, the right wing Christian fundamentalists trump up the need for continued fighting and occupation in the Middle East, and they base it on a history they purposely distort to fit their own political agenda.

I wonder who is being set free from these "truths?"


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