Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A bucket of cold water to Syria and Iran after the cartoons crisis

(Who's the driver?)

The Danish government party Venstre wants to cut sponsoring of projects for Iran and Syria in the Arab dialogue initiative Denmark has been running since 2003.

Money is wasted on these two countries, the foreign policy spokesman of Venstre says to the Danish press today. "It's no use cooperating with countries that'll rather see the back of you than your front", the spokesman says. He doesn't give it a moment's thought why some people in the Middle East would rather see the heels than the toes of Danes!

Denmark spends about 16 mio. $ a year on the Arab dialogue initiative. Money is channeled to the build up of free media and the promotion of dialogue, and Venstre now thinks it is necessary to focus the effort.

In the same way as the USA wants to spread "freedom and democracy" in the Middle East, the Arab dialogue is Denmark's way of promoting the country's core values. It is thus a kind of "cultural imperialism", a precursor for the economic interests in investments and trade. The initiative was overshadowed by the cartoons crisis. But after this crisis has ended efforts are underway to reinvigorate it. - But not to Iran and Syria. It is necessary to further the dialogue in countries where "things can be moved", the spokesman says.

It is a question if Iran and Syria are really that resilient to democratic dialogue. Perhaps there is another reason for the stingyness vis a vis these two countries. They were among the most outspoken opponents to the Mohammed cartoons. Perhaps they're also too uncooperative in the "war on terror". It is thus relevant to presume that Denmark is following the American agenda in the issue. That's shameful. And the question is if this is what Danish tax payers want. After all they pay for the show. And a lot of Danes want the dialogue to continue - also with Iran and Syria!!


Blogger Sophia said...

Good post. We usually don't hear about these small bits of information which are highly significant. Just for your information, Syria was the US number one ally in terms of information and intelligence on Islamists terrorrists. The syrian regime even imported an innocent canadian man from the US extraordinary renditions and tortured him in Syria (Maher Arrar). Fortunately, Arrar was able to return to his family and country, Canada. The syrian regime savagely fought extremists islamists in the eighties and they are his number one ennemy, so the alliance in the war on terror with the states was natural. However the US turned its back on the syrian regime, did everything to oust its army from lebanon and humiliate it because of the Golan's issue. Syria wants the Golan back, it was knocjing on the door during the last five years to initiate talks with israel to no avail, Israel wants to keep the Golan.

On another hand, the US is not interested in the 'war on terror', neither it is interested in spreading democracies in the ME, it is only inetrested in reshaping regimes and socities in the ME to the advantage of Israel's hegemony. Us treatment of Syria is a clear illustration of the US,s goals in the ME.

4:27 AM  

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