|Aftermath of Home demolition in
Rafah Refugee Camp
The level of hypocrisy, double-talk and the neo-Pharaonic display of might, practiced by the Bush (Jr.) Administration, is sufficient to make any decent, peace-loving person question his/her fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. Truly, there is no system more corrupt and more hypocritical than a system that represents itself as the example of justice, the example of freedom, the example of democracy, the example of human rights and can go all over this earth telling other people how to strengthen out their houses, how to manage their affairs, how to abide by international laws while it does exactly the opposite - defying international laws, courting authoritarian regimes, bugging its own citizenry, misleading all humanity, denying basic human rights and setting precedence for pre-emptive strikes as if we are living in caves in pre-historic times.
What is happening to our world at the dawn of the twenty first century? Does violence pay, especially when it is perpetrated against the downtrodden, the oppressed, the uprooted, non-Christian and non-Jewish people? How long would we let ourselves to be bullied and stampeded by war criminals running our world the same way Mafia Godfathers run their businesses? Why do we need U.N. for if it cannot uphold the same standard for everyone or protect the oppressed? Is this organization only to be abused by bullies of our time and its existence merely to please them?
Recently Israel has attacked Syria in violation of the charters of the United Nations. The timing could not have been more perfect with the U.S. Ambassador Negroponte of Iran-Contra fame now presiding the U.N. Security Council sessions. John Negroponte served as ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, a period during which U.S. military aid to Honduras grew from $4 million to $77.4 million and violations against human rights there skyrocketed. Reports suggest that more than 100 people disappeared, with a special intelligence unit called Battalion 316 at the center of the controversy.
As would have been expected from any civilized nation, Syria convened a special session of the UNSC, protesting the breach of international law by the rogue state of Israel. The reaction from the Bush Administration was swift. Rather than rebuking Sharon, Bush and Negroponte came to his support. It seems U.S. is also determined not to allow any resolution passed in the UNSC that condemns the Israeli provocation unless the draft is significantly altered to please the aggressor. Such a behavior by an upstart that tries hard to portray itself as the example of international law, justice and fairness is simply disgusting, if not criminal and immoral to the core.
What message is Bush trying to send to the rest of the world, especially to the Muslim world? Is it kosher to strike any country and ignore international laws? What does it do to his ignoble image or to the so-called roadmap for Palestine? (He is perceived by most people living outside the U.S. as the greatest threat to humanity, a Hitler-in-the-making, far worse than Bin Ladin is.) Why would anyone believe in what he says? After all, he is the same Bush who had lied to the whole world for his invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is now established that the latest war in Iraq had nothing to do with WMDs and/or implanting 'democracy' in Iraq. No WMD has been found and in all likelihood (as has been related by David Kay recently and Hans Blix earlier) will not be found, because there was none to begin with. The major motivation was establishing American-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. This strategic doctrine was heralded in a 1996 paper "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" co-authored for then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by a group that included people like Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Douglas Feith, who now hold top spots in the Bush Administration. This paper portrayed Syria as the main enemy of Israel, but maintained that the road to Damascus had to pass through Baghdad.
It is not likely that Sharon attacked Syria without first getting the Green Light from the White House. After the fall of Baghdad, neo-conservative hawks inside the Pentagon promoted a contingency plan for military action against Syria but it was vetoed by the White House. Under pressure from Washington, Syria closed the offices of radical Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas, and it handed over several officials from the Saddam regime who had fled across the border. Apparently those deeds were not enough to please the war party. As the number of dead soldiers in Iraq started growing, Washington was blaming Syria for allowing "Arabs" and "foreigners" to cross its porous border to attack American troops.
Just in the weeks prior to Israeli strike inside Syria, speaker after speaker in the U.S. Congress (dubbed as Israel's Amen Corner) has been warning that Syria is the new threat (previously represented by Iraq): that it has WMDs, that it has biological warheads, that it received Iraq's non-existent WMDs just before Bush and Blair began illegal invasion of Iraq in March. After the strike, they did not wait long to deliver. On Wednesday (Oct. 8), just three days after Israeli warplanes struck, the House Committee approved the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, accusing Syria of sponsoring terrorists, occupying Lebanon and seeking WMDs. The bill now goes to the full House and then to the Senate, where it is expected to pass easily. The Congressional move is not surprising given the fact that in February of this year it was Sharon who himself had called for stripping Iran, Libya and Syria of WMDs. And what Jerusalem demands, Washington, surrounded by pro-Israeli think tanks, sympathizers in the Capitol Hill and advisers to the government, delivers.
Despite the fact that Israel has WMDs, a trepidation that was raised by Nelson Mandela in an interview with the Newsweek magazine back in September, no one in the Bush Administration or in the Congress seems to be troubled. On October 10th, 2003, Israeli army killed nearly a dozen Palestinians, including an 8-year old boy and a 12-year old girl, and injured nearly fifty-two others in its raid at the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. But we won't hear any condemnation of such a savagery from the White House. Only when a revenge-seeking Palestinian retaliates would we hear them scream. Remember, it was Bush who did not permit an international force to protect the people in the Occupied Territories. It was the same Mr. Bush who did not want a UN fact-finding mission to visit Jenin when his friend Sharon cold-bloodedly murdered hundreds of Palestinians.
The myopic and criminally biased attitude of the Bush Administration is not making it any easier to mend fences with its European allies. For instance, compare Bush's remark with those of Javier Solana's, EU's special envoy. He said: ''Israel must...put an end to its settlement policy, put an end to the building of a separation wall that invades territories far beyond the 1967 lines, put an end to the policy of selective assassinations and other measures contrary to international law.''
This is not the first time that Israel has violated international laws, but Washington has learnt to condone such crimes of its rowdy partner. As has been pointed out elsewhere, Bush and Sharon share many things in common: from their preemptive strikes against suspected enemies, which kills hundred of unarmed civilians, to strategic goals, which includes plunder and loot of foreign resources. If Bush can clobber Afghanistan for the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda members, and if he can invade and occupy Iraq, a sovereign territory, which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, in clear violation of international law and defiance of the whole world, why shouldn't Sharon, a genocidal maniac, strike Syria? Sharon's government overtly threatens to murder Arafat (something that the apartheid Pretorian regime did not dare to pursue against Nelson Mandela) but none of our self-styled 'civilized' souls in Washington seems to be perturbed. There lives a prime minister who was adjudicated to be "personally responsible" by Israel's own Kahane commission of enquiry for the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982. But he is not going on trial for war crimes. Why would he when he is the most frequent guest at the White House and a trusted friend of the most powerful man on this planet? Bush's record in killing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq may well have surpassed that of Sharon. The support base for both these individuals is the same: Zionists - Christian and Jewish, who put Israeli interests first. Both believe Israeli hegemony in the Middle East represents the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy: 'Unto your seed I give this land from the river of Egypt to the Great river, the Euphrates.' (Genesis 15:18)
The American ride to Iraq has been a bumpy one with daily attacks against its occupation and collaboration forces. Even the members of the Iraqi governing council are grouchy about colossal corruption in contract awards by Cheney's former company Halliburton and (former Secretary of State) Schultz's Bechtel for reconstruction work inside Iraq. But who dare complain about neo-imperial arrogance and mismanagement? American economy is showing no sign of quick recovery. Bush's popularity is at an all time low since 9/11. And so strong is the grip of AIPAC and Zionist-controlled media that no incumbent President can afford to be viewed as an anti-Israeli. All these disturbing signs have emboldened Bush's resolve to dance the last tango with Sharon.
Bush wants to sideline Arafat. He forgets that despite all the negative stereotyping, the man is still the most popular leader among the Palestinian people. If he is serious about implementing the roadmap, his administration cannot afford to sideline him. He also cannot be oblivious to the suffering of the oppressed Palestinian people. They deserve international protection per Geneva Convention. They deserve freedom. As much as Israel has the right to protect her citizens within the pre-'67 borders, the Palestinian people have rights, albeit a nobler one, to strive against those who have uprooted them from their homes, who dehumanize them routinely, who erect the apartheid walls. Their resistance movement cannot be lampooned as terrorism. To do so would be unfair and immoral. Paulo Freire rightfully commented, "Never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed. How could they be initiators, if they themselves are the result of violence? How could they be sponsors of something whose objective inauguration called forth their existence as oppressed? There would be no oppressed had there been no prior situation of violence to establish their subjugation. Violence is initiated by those who oppress, who exploit, who fail to recognize others as persons - not by those who are oppressed, exploited and unrecognized." (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1972) That really sums up the case for Palestinian resistance movement.
If history is any barometer, then surely neither a local despot nor a long-distance partner in crime can deter the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people to live as a free people. History is on their side. And in the meantime we have to find out how long can our generation tolerate the neo-Hulagu Khan of our time, the manifestation of absolute evil who epitomizes hypocrisy with a missionary zeal.
(About the author: Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at [email protected])
Why don't you comment about Syria's role in supporting terrorism. Why don't you comment on the Islamofascism which is pervasive in the Muslim countries. Your sham doesn't fool anyone.
In a rational world people displaying such inability to think clearly would not be let out of the padded rooms much less be allowed to play with sharp objects. But there they are, the leaders of the most powerful nation on earth with a concept of human rights, international law and just plain justice that would make the Devil blush.
And do they practice what they preach. The US goes around making deals to prevent its people from being tried for war crimes and brings pressure against any country that even brings up the concept. It puts pressure on Cuba for its political prisoners while they hold people on Cuban soil specifically to keep from having to recognize their human rights. They try Muslims in US courts with out allowing them access to the evidence against them, assuming they allow them a trial in the first place, sometimes on no more evidence than an editorial by a Jew in a newspaper. They deport them on trumped up charges while trying to put out PR on how Muslims in the US are treated with respect.
Its no wonder so many Muslims don't believe in democracy. With examples like that who would?
It only takes the understanding of two things to understand why the more "Christian" a westerner is the more violent they are.
Injustice will prevail as long as there is silence observed. Firstly we must learn to speak then educate.
The whole psyche requires changing.
I remain optimistic.
Unfortunately, others pushed their own agendas.
Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Netanyahu was promoting a "next war" against "Islamic Fundamentalism". Perle and his gang prepared a new policy position paper for Israel: "A Clean Break" which sought to end peace negotiations and re-shape the map of the Middle East in a violent manner. Finally the neo-cons were drafting a new foreign policy for the United States, that didn't promote peace, but rather sought to impose its will on the world and anyone, and hit hard anyone who stood in its way.
In this way, perpetual conflict is guaranteed and the weapons merchants continue to profit from death and suffering.
When one imagines what could have been done, compared to what has actually occured, it is staggering. One can counter that the peaceful approach mentioned above is unrealistic and a dream.
The response to that is, wouldn't it have been worth a try? Didn't world leaders owe it to the people of the world to shape that dream and try to turn it into somewhat of a reality?
What a tremendous lost opportunity for peace!
Didn't Muslim American have these knowledge before hand before voting?
Reading numerous article about neo-con anti-Muslim idiots (sorry, that's the best word for them) now advising Bush such as Rumseld, Chenney, Rice, etc, is quite scary to me as a Muslims. How they planned to change Middle East, by force if necessary.
Those neo-con lunatics could not differentiate between Muslims who want to practice Islam wholly and terrorists. They take secularism and democracy as ultimate truth and will even use force to spread as a hegemonous value around the world and especially around Israel's neighbors.
In doing it, they loose touch with what true teaching of Islam and could not differentiate between true Islam and terrorism. Thus, after 9-11, all Islamic organization in the USA were put under hot soup and being checked by the authority. The paranoid is scary indeed. To the extent even peaceful organization like American Muslim Council and Institute of Islamic Thought was also considered by Bush democracy-fanatics advisor Perle as linked to terrorism. This is absurd and too much!! Enough is enough brothers and sisters (Muslim Americans)!
Muslim Americans, you must hold on together and vote as one block and kick those neo-con butts out in next year's election from White House into the washington streets, kicking dust!.
Muslim world will *partially* really on you brothers. Teach those Bush and his neo-con a big lesson.
Vote wisely and do your homework thoroughly and vote as a unified voice in next year's election.
We will thank you brothers and sisters.
Sharon must go, and all peace-loving people must show their outrage to the current Bush-Sharon policy towards the Palestinian people by contacting their senators and representatives (U.S.) and urge them to support a durable,peaceful solution that restores Palestinian sovereignty.
You want to replace GWBush in Nov 2004. Are you sure his replacement is going to be any better?. Read the history of the US and its relationship with Israel for the last 55 years.