The violence in Iraq is entirely Americaâ€™s doing; just follow the bloody footprints straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There's no need to look any further.
The Bush team has ignited a firestorm in Iraq which has swept through the capital and countryside; pitting Arab against Arab, and Muslim against Muslim. That was the object from the very beginning. Now that the violence is spinning out of control and could cross borders into neighboring countries, the grown-up members of the policy-establishment, like James Baker, are getting jittery and want to see a change of direction. Baker isnâ€™t bothered by the death and destruction as long as it is carried out with discretion and doesnâ€™t disrupt other imperial projects in Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia. But Iraq has swallowed American foreign policy whole; leaving Bush little time (or resources) to deal with other urgent matters in the rest of the world.
The military is over-extended and bogged down, the situation on the ground is chaotic, and American prestige has taken a beating. The advocates of â€œcreative destructionâ€ have released the genie from the bottle and energized the anarchic forces of regional rebellion. Now, the outcome is anyoneâ€™s guess. What is certain, though, is that Bushâ€™s plan for an endless source of cheap gas and security for Israel has taken a ruinous turn for the worse.
Israel has a different perspective on the turmoil in Iraq. Olmert has embraced the neoconservative ideal of â€œpositive instabilityâ€ and clings to the notion that toppling foreign regimes and disrupting Arab countries improves his chances for regional dominance. In fact, just last week Olmert opined that the war in Iraq has actually been â€œbetter for the safety and security of Israelâ€. Olmert still believes that Israelâ€™s imperial aspirations are fortified by attacking and fragmenting other countries in the Arab world. No doubt, his response comes as no surprise to anyone in the region.
Itâ€™s easy to see how the assassination of Lebanese parliamentarian Pierre Gemayel fits perfectly with Olmertâ€™s world view. If violence breaks out between the various Lebanese groups, then the Christians will serve as a â€œproxy armyâ€ for Israeli interests. What could be better for Olmert? That means he wouldnâ€™t have to restart the 34 Day War and risk the lives of Israeli troops. He could just sit back a watch as his Lebanese neighbors tear themselves apart in a second civil war and hopefully weaken arch-rival Hezbollah in the process.
No wonder Olmertâ€™s popularity is soaring at 18%.
American hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Israelâ€™s war in Lebanon are part of a broader plan for remaking the Middle East to meet the needs of American oil corporations, banking giants and Israel. The war on terror provides the thinnest of cover for military operations which are clearly colonial in nature. The Pentagon makes no effort to conceal their overall objectives. In fact, Defense Departmentâ€™s maps are available to the public which outline the area of the Middle East and Central Asia as CentCom; the central battlefield in the global resource war. What more proof does one need that the entire region is in the gun-sights of the Washington warlords?
The most regrettable part of the current conflict is the way in which Muslims have been subject to subtle, but deliberate vilification. This may have more to do with geography than race, but the result is the same. Muslims never appeared on the radar of public opinion before 9-11, now they are regular targets of right wing, xenophobic tirades and carefully crafted government fear-mongering.
Bush and Blair have assured us that â€œthis is not a war against Muslimsâ€, but neither has done anything to silence the racist abuse which spews daily from radio talk-shows or from the op-ed pages of major newspapers. Tom Friedman frequently uses his column to remind us of the problems which are particular to Islam and which can be easily overcome by simply complying with the diktats of Washington and Tel Aviv. Friedmanâ€™s annoying paternalism and prejudice is widely shared in the mainstream media where unreflective buffoons are all-too eager to blame the victims of occupation, exploitation and corporate vandalism.
If Muslims believe that the war on terror is actually a war against Islam; itâ€™s because all the facts point to that conclusion. Sober leaders in the foreign policy establishment should carefully consider the implications of this strategy before continuing down this path. Waging a culture war against one and a half billion Muslims who occupy the lands where we get our vital resources does not auger well for our long-range interests. Americaâ€™s economic viability is held together by a webbing of pipelines, tankers, oil platforms and oil facilities. All of these are vulnerable to the attacks of terrorists, guerillas, dissidents or disgruntled enemies of the empire.
Are we prepared to fight them all?
A â€œwar of civilizationsâ€; is the misguided progeny of neoconservative fanatics. Their plan is now writ large across the entire region so everyone can see that the US-Israeli war is actually directed at Muslims alone.
This is a huge mistake for which we will all pay dearly.
The war on terror is the greatest public relations swindle of all time. Just look at a map!?! Weâ€™re not fighting terror; weâ€™re repositioning military assets to control crucial pipeline routes and oil fields. The administrationâ€™s objectives are as plain as day to anyone who knows the least bit about landlocked supplies of oil and natural gas in Central Asia and 60% of the worldâ€™s oil in the Middle East. If American industry controls these reserves they can control Chinaâ€™s growth, maintain US military superiority, and force the world to use the debt-plagued greenback into the next century.
Unfortunately, Americaâ€™s ongoing aggression requires a scapegoat; an unwitting victim that they can demonize and portray as a imminent threat to U.S. national security.
Now we have Muslim-only gulags scattered across the planet where every imaginable method of torture is employed with complete impunity.
We topple their regimes, shame their women, defile their holy book, train their repressive security-forces, incite violence between their religious sects, bomb their cities and mosques, and jail anyone who appears the least bit suspicious.
If we are not â€œat war with Muslimsâ€ then why is the concertina-wire still stretched around Ramadi, Tal Afar, and Falluja? Why the Madrasâ€™ still being bombed in Northern Pakistan? Why is Abu Ghraib still overflowing with prisoners? Why are Muslim scholars still refused entry into the United States and Muslim civilians kept off airplanes? Why does right-wing radio still flood the air-waves with their racist bile and anti-Islam vitriol?
And why does the United States still stubbornly refuse to condemn Israelâ€™s criminal attacks on the Palestinians, like last weekâ€™s bombing of Beit Hanoun where an entire family was butchered in their sleep?
Bushâ€™s plan for Muslims has been clear since he assembled his flagship-gulag at Guantanamo Bay and presented it as the main icon of the new world order. If Bush wants to prove his sincerity, then he should release Gitmoâ€™s inmates and order the facility be bulldozed into rubble. It is an abomination that should offend anyone with a trace of decency.
We know Bushâ€™s plan for Muslims, because it is identical to that of his ideological-twin, Olmert. They both believe that the final solution to the â€œMuslim problemâ€ lies in the Gaza Model.
The Gaza Strip is the worldâ€™s largest prison camp containing 1.5 million Palestinians. They are limited in their movements and have no reliable access to food, medical aid, clean water, electricity or employment. They do not control their borders, air space, roads or coastline. And, even though their elected officials have none of the powers that are normally associated with national sovereignty, they have been under constant siege by Israeli forces that aggressively destroy any nationalist movement which operates beyond Tel Avivâ€™s control.
Israel claims the absolute right to kill, detain, abduct or torture anyone it sees fit without providing any means for a legal defense. They show the same disdain for Palestinian human rights as they do for the 60 separate resolutions passed by the United Nations. Israel does as it pleases.
Nothing about the Gaza â€œopen-airâ€ detention facility is accidental. Itâ€™s a model that has been meticulously developed over 39 years to create a permanent state of imprisonment for the â€œundesirablesâ€ who have legal title to the land. If we look across the Middle East into Central Asia, we can see that the same fundamental principles for subjugation are being applied to Muslims throughout the region.
The Gaza Model is the logical corollary of Bushâ€™s war on terror. It provides a means for dealing with the people in resource-rich lands who stand in the way of Americaâ€™s corporate-political expansion. At its core, it is a strategy for â€œpacificationâ€ through segregation, containment and brutality. These are the grim requirements for Americaâ€™s continued dominance into the next century.
The war on terror is fueled by belligerence, deception and unrelenting aggression against innocent people in their own countries. It is terrorism pure and simple.
Bush will deny this, but it is true just the same.
Harold Pinter Nobel Speech