Anyone who pays even the slightest attention to the USA’s foreign policy, or any states foreign policy, will see clear double standards. The US rightly supported, and initially led, an intervention in Libya to stop the bloodbaths taking place there and strongly denounced Gaddafi, whilst it just watched happily as events transpired in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and the list goes on. Nothing is new. You base your foreign policy primarily on your own interest, human rights are something secondary. In Libya the two causes happen to coincide quite nicely for the US. There is a clear double standard, this much is obvious and this is not going to change.
However, what is particularly disturbing is the way people like Ahmadinejad and his regime prance around pretending like it is only the US who are hypocritical, delivering these criticisms with the usual fiery rhetoric and panache. The problem is, many in the Arab world will take this rather sinister clown seriously and see such brave heroism and fighting spirit in his grand speeches where he talks a big game, a bit too big for his very limited capabilities.
This is all of course without realising that the Iranians are playing the exact same game that the US is playing. Because, if I am not mistaken, they too have been denouncing strongly their enemies in the region who have been suppressing protests brutally, whilst praising, if not physically supporting, regimes which are engaged in activities just as brutal if not worse.
This is of course a reference to the Syrian government. The extremely brutal Syrian government, of which much has been written, has been ruthlessly suppressing protests all over the country, with particularly nasty crimes taking place in the city of Homs. Now if we analyse the statements made by the Iranian government in response to government action in Syria tand compare them to an American comment on the protests in Egypt months ago, there is an uncanny resemblance.
“We are sure that the government is able to resolve the internal problems and respond appropriately to people’s demands.”
“Violence will not address the grievances…and suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away”
One of these comments is a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry on the situation in Syria, the other is a comment by Barack Obama about the protests in Egypt. Can you tell the difference?
This is unfortunately one of the main problems facing the Middle East. While the majority of its population is able to spot the hypocrisy and double standards in a US response or action in a region, significant numbers are almost oblivious to the exact same behaviour from Iran, who they still think is this great anti-imperialist vanguard that will usher in a new era of prosperity and justice. All because Ahmadinejad apparently staunchly opposes Israel.
The truth is that the Arab world faces the dual threat of US encroachment from one side, and the very sly and unassuming threat of Iran to our east who would claim to shield us with their left hand and seek to supplant us with their other. Please Mr Ahmadinejad, can you just quit with the charade? I am asking nicely.
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East
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