Bush Ends “War on Terrorism”
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated on or about 26 July 2006 that: "It is time for a new Middle East... It is time to say to those that don't want a different kind of Middle East that we will prevail. They will not."
This statement was made in direct support of the Israeli onslaught against much of Lebanon, with the killing of great numbers of civilians, and in the context of her efforts, backed by U.S. President George Bush, to prevent an immediate or early cease-fire. The Bush objective reportedly was to resupply Israel with weapons and to provide enough time to inflict severe damage on the Lebanese political-communal organization known as Hezbollah or Army of God and much of the civilian population of the country.
Given the fact that the USA is a clear partner with Israel in the latter's military actions and territorial aspirations, what does the U.S. vision for the Middle East include, aside from creating a position of dominance for Israel in any negotiations with the Palestinians?
One problem in the region is that many, perhaps most, Israelis evidently believe that a Jewish life is worth the lives of dozens, even hundreds, of people they call Arabs. The Jewish State has seemingly adopted the Nazi-German policy of World War II to the effect that the death of a German soldier must result in the killing of dozens or more Polish, French, or other civilians. Such a policy of excessive retaliation is a classic form of unabashed terrorism, and, of course, it seldom does more that to create more enemies.
The Palestinian Christians and Muslims, as well as the Lebanese, have often responded to Israel with a similar strategy, but with much less ability to inflict casualties except when suicide bombers succeed in self-annihilation in the midst of a crowd.
The dictionary defines terrorism as the strategy or process of inflicting terror on a given population or group. This may be accomplished by the bombing of civilian targets, by the destruction of ambulances, bridges, hospitals, or infrastructure, by the wanton bombing of apartment buildings, airports, government offices, electric generating plants, et cetera. It is also accomplished by forcing hundreds or thousands of persons to become refugees. The seizure of people's homes, land, and groves in order to transfer them to other people is also a form of mental terrorism and thievery with severe physical consequences.
Israel has long been the target of attacks by Palestinians seeking retribution for the loss of homes since the 1948 creation of the State of Israel. Some of these attacks have been made upon civilians and are terrorist in nature. But attacks upon uniformed enemy soldiers in occupation of your country are not prohibited, nor are they terrorist attacks. Any occupier can justly expect the likelihood of armed resistance. We certainly promoted it during World War II, but now the U.S. seems to confuse legitimate armed resistance with attacks upon civilians.
One constantly reads that "Israel has a right to defend itself," and one must agree. Few mention that the non-Israeli people of Palestine and Lebanon also possess the right of self-defense. The U.S. and Israel seem to want the Palestinians and Hezbollah to unilaterally disarm but Israel never offers to cut back its army or to destroy its nuclear weapons (illegal under international law, in any case).
Similarly, the U.S. wants the Palestinians to recognize Israel and to disarm as a precondition for any serious negotiations, but why should one side give up all of its marbles before the game is played? What is Israel supposed to give up as a precondition for talks? Is not the recognition of Israel a proper subject for negotiations, since the Palestinians have never been asked to vote on the legitimacy of a theocratic Jewish state in their homeland?
The recent Israeli assault upon Gaza and upon Lebanon partake of terrorism. Because of the capture of an Israeli soldier the entire population of Gaza suffered collective punishment through attacks. Then the capture of two Israeli soldiers along the Lebanese border led to the unleashing of a brutal war against much of Lebanon, a war supported openly by President Bush, as noted.
The "Yankee Empire" has long been a largely uncritical and "deep pockets" supporter of the State of Israel, the officially Jewish state carved in blood out of what was once the British mandate of Palestine. Jewish fighters long waged a war of terrorism and murder against the British in order to create a Jewish state instead of working to create a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Palestine.
The latter, although possible, was difficult because of the fact that the Arabic-speaking groups in Palestine and surrounding areas were largely not happy about hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of newcomers settling as colonists in their country.
We need to halt all forms of terrorism whether they are perpetrated by a government or by resistance groups and begin to live up to international human rights laws. Israel's occupation and control of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967 has seemingly annexed that area to Israel, since Jewish-exclusive colonies have been established almost everywhere and Israel asserts the right to police the entire region with armed military patrols. I believe that the Jewish colonists living in these exclusively Jewish settlements are allowed to vote in Israeli elections, thus extending Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Palestine, but preventing Muslims and Christians from voting and from living in the new settlements.
The Israeli practice directly copies U.S. imperialism against Native Americans as when the U.S. would allow white settlers to erect towns, territorial and state governments in newly seized areas while refusing to allow Indians and African-Americans to vote, hold office, or exercise the rights of citizens.
Israel's behavior in the occupied territories mirrors the above, in spite of the evolution of international law since World War II. One cannot pretend to be a democracy without allowing the inhabitants of territory under your control to enjoy either basic rights of citizenship or self-determination.
Why shouldn't Jews, Muslims, Christians, and secularists have a right to live throughout Kanaan-Palestine-Israel, including the refugees still living in camps in Lebanon and Jordan? Perhaps a multi-ethnic, multi-religious homeland will be the solution everyone has been hoping for!
One thing is clear: the Bushites have cancelled the "war on terrorism." To the Republicans in Congress: its a done deal!
© Jack D. Forbes is an authority on the history of inter-ethnic relations. He is of Powhatan-Delaware and other backgrounds.
News From Indian Country October 30, 2006