Paul Brill verkneutert zich over het feit dat Arabische leiders achter gesloten deuren aandringen op militaire actie tegen Iran (‘De gevaren van Wikileaks’, Volkskrant, 3 dec.):
..Voor een beter begrip van hoe er in het Midden-Oosten werkelijk wordt gedacht, zijn de door WikiLeaks verspreide documenten natuurlijk zeer verhelderend. Fijn dat iets wat tot nu toe eigenlijk alleen aan anonieme bronnen in de wandelgangen kon worden toegeschreven, nu zwart op wit staat..
Hij gaat geheel voorbij aan het feit dat de onderdrukte bevolkingen in Arabische landen heel anders denken dan hun leiders over gevaar van een nucleair bewapend Iran en israel:
..both the US and the Al Saud family (as well as the ruling families in other Gulf states) have little tolerance for democratic movements, fearing rightly that such actions will result in elevating the will of the people over theirs, which could upset the oil for security status quo.
And indeed, the will of the people does stand in opposition to the aforementioned leaders on the question of Iran.
In contrast to the hostility expressed by the leadership, a recent poll carried out by the Brookings Institution finds that regular people in several Arab nations don’t see Iran as a major threat. Instead, 88% identified Israel as the biggest threat, followed closely by the US (77%). A whooping 10% identified Iran as a threat to their interests. So much for the historic Sunni-Shia enmity and Arab-Persian rivalry!
Additionally, in contrast again to the views held by the leadership, 75% of ordinary people were opposed to international efforts to pressure Iran to curtail its nuclear program, stating that they believed that Iran had a right to its nuclear program. 57% even think that it would be positive development for the region if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.
It is therefore not surprising that the US’s Arab allies are not willing to publicly criticize Iran or offer open support for US efforts to "cut off the head of the snake." What this poll reveals is not only the contrasting views held by the Arab public and the leadership, but also that the majority of Arabs don’t see the world through the US/Israeli prism that is taken for granted by the corporate media…
Deze blinde vlek van Brill past naadloos in zijn eenzijdige visie t.a.v. het Midden-Oosten.
Lees ook in dit verband Sharmine Narwani’s ktitiek in de Huffington Post op de eenzijdige interpretaties in de New York Times van de Wikileaks over het Midden-Oosten:
..In the first few days after the WikiLeaks Cables release, there was notably disproportionate focus on what amounts to nothing more than political gossip — the tired old refrain of Arab leaders warmongering against Iran, Turkish PM Erdogan’s "hatred" for Israel — over the critical examination of actual behind-the-scenes policy deliberations that contradict our public stances: regime change discussions on Iran, US-Israeli collusion on almost all things Mideast, and the startling revelations that deal-brokering in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and over Iran’s nuclear program is a mere facade?
The Wikileaks Cables are plump with evidence of US doublespeak, proof that "conspiracy-minded" Middle Easterners are, well, correct on most counts…
Arabs Vs Iran — The New York Times Refrain
Instead of honing in on significant disclosures that shed some light on the many Middle East policy failures that have marked US decision making in the region for decades, the US press went with "silly" and "sully." Those much-touted Cables reporting the acidic — and not very diplomatic — barbs of Arab leaders against Iran do not represent any "new" thinking, and need instead to be examined in context:
Firstly, these rulers have never recovered from their 1979 "bogeyman" fear of a Shia-majority, non-Arab, Islamist regional hegemon on their doorstep — one that continued to thrive even after the predominantly Sunni, Arab Persian-Gulf nations, Egypt, Jordan and others misguidedly backed Saddam Hussein’s hostile 1980 invasion of Iranian territory.
Secondly, many of these rulers are viewed – internally and throughout the Arab world — as corrupt, often illegitimate and beholden to foreign interests. These heads of state are bitterly resentful that, by comparison, leaders like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syria’s Bashar al Assad are viewed vastly more favorably by populations throughout the Mideast and Muslim world.
In fact, when asked in a July 2010 Brookings poll about the prospects of a "nuclear" Iran, 57% of the populations of the same Arab nations whose leaders were caught in this Wikileaks pants-down-moment supported a nuclearized Iran. Why? Because only 10% of the Arab public view Iran as a threat, as opposed to their leaders. Instead, 88% of Arabs views Israel as their main threat, followed closely by 77% who worry about the United States.
To be honest, the "real" story is that this many Arab nations had secret dealings with Israel, which they bash very publicly for domestic and regional consumption. I suppose the theme here is Iran-in-secret, Israel-in-public…