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Iranians in Latin America Spook US

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That alone was unacceptable, for Latin America has long been designated as the US "backyard," per the belittling perception of US mainstream media. The trip ignited the ire of Israel, which media and officials considered a travesty at a time that Tel Aviv was tirelessly working to isolate Iran. The bill was clearly a coordinated move, as its language indicates textbook Israeli hasbara. 

Duncan might have been a novice, but he is quickly catching up. On May 20, he proudly posted a statement on his House of Representative page that sharply censures his own president's remarks on Israel, while fully supporting the political stances of the leader of another country, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He decried Obama's siding with the "Hamas-led government," thus "undermined(ing) Israel's position in the negotiation process."  

"President Obama's statement that Israel should retreat to its impossible to defend 1967 borders breaks a promise to one of our strongest allies, threatens Israel's security, and jeopardizes the future of democracy in the region," he wrote. Of course, Duncan wholeheartedly agreed with Netanyahu's right-wing policies. 

"[The Israeli] prime minister understands the hard reality of Israel's precarious security situation and daily threats of terrorism. I agree with the Israeli prime minister that President Obama's position is simply unrealistic." He concluded with a very telling statement: "As a Christian, I ask Americans to continue lifting up the people of Israel with prayers for safety and the hope for a lasting peace." 

This strange attitude towards politics and American national security is the real threat, not Iranian embassies and water purification projects in some Latin American countries. But considering the rising religious zealotry, shrewd Israeli lobby and the numerous think tanks of catered wisdom, there is little space for pragmatic politics or a sensible approach to anything that concerns Israel. 

Thus, Obama enacted the bill into law, and funds have been secured to evaluate Iran's growing "threats" in "America's backyard" so that proper measures can be taken to counter the frightening possibilities. 


What Duncan doesn't know however, is that Latin America is no longer hostage either to the whims of Washington or to his South Carolina 3rd District. Nor is the "Western Hemisphere" any longer defined by the confines of US foreign policies, which seem to be narrowing each year to meet Israeli expectations and not those of America. 

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American-Arab journalist Ramzy Baroud is the author of The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London), now available at Amazon.com

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