as Americans are recovering from the harrowing television re-runs of the 11 September
attacks, their President is going to launch the biggest reshaping of the Middle
East since the British and French parceled out the Arab lands after the 1914-18
war. When he addresses the United Nations on Thursday, George Bush will be threatening
not only Iraq which had absolutely nothing to do with the crimes against
humanity in New York and Washington but Syria, Iran and, by extension,
Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The Syrian Accountability Act, which accuses Damascus of supporting "terrorism",
will come into force as President Bush is speaking and will follow only days after
the State Department branded the Lebanese Hizbollah as the "A-team of terrorism",
more dangerous even than Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida. Like Iraq, the Hizbollah
had nothing to do with the 11 September attacks indeed, they were among
the first to condemn them but the White House now seems set on painting
allies and enemies alike in the Middle East as a focus of evil.
Only The Nation among all of America's newspapers and magazines has
dared to point out that a large number of former Israeli lobbyists are now working
within the American administration and the Bush plans for the Middle East
which could cause a massive political upheaval in the Arab world fit perfectly
into Israel's own dreams for the region. The magazine listed Vice-President Dick
Cheney the arch-hawk in the US administration and John Bolton, now
under-secretary of state for Arms Control, with Douglas Feith, the third most
senior executive at the Pentagon, as members of the advisory board of the pro-Israeli
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) before joining the Bush
government. Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, is
still an adviser on the institute, as is the former CIA director James Woolsey.
Michael Ledeen, described by The Nation as "one of the most influential
'Jinsans' in Washington" has been calling for "total war" against "terror"
with "regime change" for Syria, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.
Mr Perle advises the Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld who refers to the
West Bank and Gaza as "the so-called occupied territories" and arranged
the anti-Saudi "kernel of evil" briefing by Laurent Murawiec that so outraged
the Saudi royal family last month. The Saudi regime may itself be in great danger
as the princes of the House of Saud attempt to seize more power for themselves
in advance of the departure of the dying King Fahd.
Jinsa's website says it exists to "inform the American Defense and foreign
affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering
democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East". Next month, Michael
Rubin of the right-wing and pro-Israeli American Enterprise Institute who
referred to the outgoing UN human rights commissioner Mary Robinson as an abettor
of "terrorism" joins the US Defense Department as an Iran-Iraq "expert".
According to The Nation, Irving Moskovitz, the California bingo magnate
who has funded settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, is a donor as
well as a director of Jinsa.
President Bush, of course, will not be talking about the influence of these
pro-Israeli lobbyists when he presents his vision of the Middle East at the United
Nations on Thursday.
Nor will he give the slightest indication that the region is, in the words
of its own kings and dictators, a powder keg of resentment and anger. The tectonic
plates of the Arab world are now grinding with increasing violence. Into this
political earthquake zone, Mr Bush now seems intent on leading his country, with
his loyal British ally.
Most of today's Arab nations were fashioned out of the ruins of the Ottoman
Empire by Britain and France in the aftermath of the First World War and
Palestinians still blame Britain today for supporting the formation of a Jewish
homeland in Palestine.
Both European nations stationed tens of thousands of troops across the region,
suppressing Arab revolts in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon itself created
by the French at the request of its Christian Maronite community. The whole colonial
framework led to the loss of tens of thousands of lives before both the British
and French retreated from the Middle East.
Now President Bush seems set on following the colonial powers into the region
for another military and political adventure ostensibly to spread "democracy"
among those nations it most despises (Iraq, Palestine and Iran) but in fact more
likely to increase American control of an increasingly anti-Western Arab world.
The Arabs themselves warn that this will lead to massive instability and widespread
violence. The Israelis and their allies in the US administration
are hell bent on the whole shebang.
© 2002 lndependent Digital (UK) Ltd