April 19, 2004 | Peter

Burning Fuse

The fuse President Bush stuck into the Middle East powder keg and lit with the invasion of Iraq has suddenly started burning a lot faster. Along with the start of the second phase of the Iraq war, Ariel Sharon’s latest moves to effect an endgame in Israel guarantee interesting times ahead.
Sharon, like Bush, prefers unilateral measures, although he always has to clear them with Israel’s sponsor, the US. He should, of course, be languishing in jail right now for one of the crimes, war or civil, he has committed, but like Bush he has managed to benefit from the political polarisation of his country. Speaking of crimes, I wonder if Bush, Blair and Howard will ever face a war crimes trial over the illegal invasion of Iraq, as ex-Liberal boss John Valder suggested recently? No wonder they were not keen on setting up an independent international justice organisation.
Under the Bush global regime, Sharon has lost all restraint and is taking Israel down a very dangerous path. In particular, Sharon’s policy of extra-judicial executions of Palestinians, including ‘terrorist’ leaders, completely undermines the most basic attempts to restrict armed conflict. It is the most brutal use of modern military force conceivable. It is also causing real dissent in the Israeli military, many of whom do not like the role of long-range assassins.
What Bush and Sharon have done is to inextricably mix the two messes in Iraq and Israel. Everyone but the Neo-cons that do Bush’s thinking for him can see how the Arab world is having western power forcibly shoved down its throat. The Neo-cons think Arab civilisation will simply collapse into western style ‘democracy’. This is an extraordinary risk to be running right now. And since they are living at the sharp end of the whole project, I fear it will be the long-suffering Israeli people who will feel the pain first if things go pear-shaped. We should never forget that Israel has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and an early-use doctrine, while Pakistan, an Islamic country with strong fundamentalist interests and engagement in the Middle East, also has atomic bombs and missiles to deliver them. And Iran is almost certainly making or preparing to make nuclear bombs.
I mean, the Middle East is just the wrong place to be seeing how far military force can be used to solve what are in reality very complex issues.
As for Iraq, the US is now fighting the messy war many predicted would follow the invasion. The US has screwed up the occupation, largely due to Rumsfeld’s keenness for the new high-tech, low troop numbers warfare and Paul Bremer’s incompetence. These guys just lack a capacity for circumspection and are blinded by their own sense of destiny.
The wiser heads around the place seem to be leaning towards the UN taking over the whole thing, which would be ironic given the way Bush et al tried to emasculate the UN. Everyone, especially the Australians involved, would breathe a lot easier operating under the UN flag.
And finally, good to see Mr Chalabi, another man who should probably be in jail for criminal activities of a financial nature, and whose role will likely be blissfully short-lived when the Iraqis actually vote, giving advice to Mark Latham. Every time one of these pro-Bush idiots gets on his case, Latham must feel more and more comfortable that he is on the right track. After all, in a really messy situation, sometimes the best strategy is just to do the opposite of what all the venal vested interests want.

Posted by Peter at 1:13 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Uncategorized

1 Comment

  1. Sharons deal with Bush is a great example of the true nature of this new world order. It’s a Monarchy. Gone are UN resolutions. Gone are negotiations with world leaders. Gone is even including an adversary in discussions. Instead, go to Washington. Have an audience with the King of the World. The King decides. Long live the Fink, er I mean King.

    Comment by Mark — April 21, 2004 @ 6:57 am

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