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Wednesday, September 3

Twice-timed Idiots Alert beep beep! Twice-time Idiots Alert beep beep!

Hey, isn't this amazing? More than one country can mess around in another country's sphere of influence! Well if that don't beat all. Who woulda guessed?

Oh but I forgot! The U.S. has no sphere of interest in Latin America beyond Mexico and Colombia on account of spending so many years messing around in Russia's sphere of interest that State had a hard time finding Bolivia on a map. Until someone ran into Foggy Bottom with a newspaper yelling, 'Guess What! Latin America has turned left again!'

Ah well, maybe we can get some help from our buddies in the European Union. After all the help we gave them screwing Russia, you'd think....lemmee dial a few numbers.

I'll start by ringing up our very best friend across the Pond -- well, our very best friend before they betrayed us in Iraq and Afghanistan. But then what's a little betrayal costing the lives of God Knows how many U.S. troops?


Hello, hello?

September 3
Asia Times
Iran and the left in Latin America
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Bolivian President Evo Morales is in Tehran this week, ushering in a new chapter in his country's economic and strategic cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has promised a hefty investment in Bolivia's energy sector and other joint ventures, some involving other Latin and Central American countries, such as Venezuela and Nicaragua, not to overlook Cuba.

In a joint communique, Morales and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad have signed off on the need for "concrete political steps against every type of imperialism", while also condemning the intervention of the United Nations Security Council in Iran's nuclear program as "lacking any legal or technical justification".

Bolivia may be a poor country, but it is strategically located and represents an important ally for Iran that can act as a catalyst in enhancing Iran's growing cooperation with other Latin nations, especially those considered leftist or populist.

In his visit to Bolivia last year, Ahmadinejad promised that Iran would make a US$1 billion investment in Bolivia's underdeveloped oil and gas sector and the two sides are now much closer in turning this into reality. Certainly, Morales' decision to set aside any hesitation and fully support Iran's position in the current nuclear standoff goes a long way in cementing Iran-Bolivia friendship.

From Tehran's vantage point, an indirect benefit of Morales' visit is that it impresses on Moscow the services that Tehran can render in strengthening Moscow's anti-unipolarism credo, which was spelled out by President Dmitry Medvedev in his major foreign policy speech last week. Tapping into Cold War lexicon, Medvedev openly mentioned Russia's intention to pursue a "sphere of influence" in politics and made a point of mentioning "not only with neighbors".

As various Russian experts, including at the Russian Center for Strategic Studies, have pointed out, Russia in the aftermath of the Georgia crisis is now inclined to strengthen its ties with countries such as Iran and Venezuela.

In light of the Georgia visit this week by US Vice President Dick Cheney, reviled by Premier Vladimir Putin as directly responsible for triggering the Georgia crisis for election purposes, the growing rift between the US and Russia simultaneously represents an opportunity for Tehran both to neutralize UN Security Council efforts to impose tighter sanctions on Iran over the nuclear program and explore further, and more meaningful, strategic cooperation with Russia and the Latin left vis-a-vis the common threat of US unipolarism. [...]

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