Nowadays it seems that what matters is not what you do around the world but what the Bush administration believes that you do. The US government says it now believes that Iran stopped its quest for an atomic bomb in 2003, I guess it took a while for the Bush administration to find out. After the news this morning that Chavez lost its referendum we can all feel a bit better. Almost well enough to counteract the sad news that Putin won the election to become father of the nation (I guess it is ok to be authoritarian if you are a "father"). What Iran, Venezuela and Russia have in common is that they are all energy exporters. Energy exporting countries tend to fall in the hands of dictatorial fatherly figures who are frequently tinkering with the Constitution because in those countries whoever controls the energy exports controls the money flow into the whole nation. Having oil is in the end a curse, an addiction. Citizens of energy exporters tend to become pretty incompetent at doing anything else because few activities compete with pumping energy and getting rich.
But the news of Iran being now certified as a non-atomic bomb producer is in itself disconcerting. Is it true, or is it simply that the US government has decided to certify some countries that do not have atomic bombs as Iraq as dangerous, and those who do like North Korea and Pakistan as harmless? Iran is a country whose leaders hate us but their people love our modernity. Instead Pakistan is a country whose leaders like us and whose people hate us and they do have atomic weapons (a Pew Institute poll said that if Osama Bin Laden ran for elections majority Pakistanis vote for him). In any case it is a sad world in which what matters is not what a country does but what the U.S. government believes it does and sets a global standard of what´s right and wrong. Most of the U.S. people and the vast majority of the citizens around the world cannot wait for Bush to go and for some clarity to return to world affairs.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/martinvars