FW: Notes on the US right and the Middle East

Alternative alternative at sbcglobal.net
Thu Apr 18 00:13:42 MDT 2002



-----Original Message-----
From: Alternative [mailto:alternative at sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 11:11 PM
Subject: Notes on the US right and the Middle East

Notes on the US right and the Middle East

Just quick notes on the news as they unfold. Today I decided to pay
close attention to what the right is saying in the US about Bush and the
Middle East.

We are now in a reactionary conjuncture in the US.  It does not much
matter how many thousands demonstrate for social justice, peace, civil
rights, etc but how much passive support they have in the rest of the
population.  And after 9/11 is not much. Of course, we must persist
until a crack appears in the wall in front of us.

But maybe the crack will not come from the left at first, but the right.

Most right wing commentators are fuming about Bush's policies in the
Middle East and about his foreign policies altogether. The Wall Street
Journal published today an editorial blasting Bush's inconsistency and
hesitancy. Krystal, Keyes, Saphire and other right wingers on newspapers
columns and TV and radio talk shows are also attacking Bush.

The Christian fundamentalists joined in unconditionally on the bandwagon
of "smashing the Palestinians." as well and "let's march on Baghdad." I
have in front of me a declaration signed by almost every significant
member of the Christian fundamentalist movement in the US (Christian
Coalition and others) criticizing Bush for inconsistency and calling
upon him to act, and act NOW, on the principles of his "9/11 Doctrine."
I think the only ones missing are those who had been involved in sex or
money scandals and the right wing intellectuals.

Democrats from all stripes are rabid as well. You can hear them
criticizing Bush from the right, from Lieberman to almost everyone in
Congress.  As a matter of fact if there is unanimity in Congress today
is about the war on terrorism and the unconditional support for Israel,
Jenin's massacre included.

They are all taking the line from Sharon's logic: The West Bank is
Afghanistan and Arafat is Bin Laden.  After September 11, they say, Bush
appropriately launched a worldwide war against terrorism and for a while
controlled the issues and the campaign, but now he is leaving the issues
driving him and he is hesitant and weak.

In certain ways, they are right.  Bush's doctrine is one thing his
pragmatic praxis is another.  It never intended to be otherwise because
the real reason was to heal the wounds of US imperialism and terrorize
the workers and peasants around the world.

Forget about peace in the Middle East, they yell, "forget about Arafat,
he is a criminal." They are pushing for Bush to leave Sharon lead and
for the US to support Israel unconditionally. "Let's take care of Sadam
Hussein instead of an impossible peace" they demand "Arafat and his
terrorists will be taken care by the IDF.".

Of course, as it was shown, this pressure campaign worked to certain
extent and it is what explains Bush zigzagging from a "hands off"
approach to the Middle East, briefly shifting to "mediator", then acting
again as Israel's lawyer, then demanding its withdrawal and now again
taking the line of Sharon's "Arafat is no longer relevant" and posing
demands on Arafat identical than those of Sharon. Even Powell, that some
presented as the "moderate" on all this is tagging along on this
madness.

It seemed as if at some brief moments, Bush is the most rational of the
bunch.

These right wing critics, both Democrats and Republicans, are telling
Bush to forget about the Israel-Palestinians conflict and march on
Baghdad and overturn Saddam Hussein. They are bitterly attacking the
Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Moroccans, and the
Lebanese, almost everyone in the Middle East... for being themselves and
in their own rotten, stingy way, refusing to be overthrown by the masses
awaken by US policies in their countries.

Curiously, some conservatives are sounding the alarm bells. Bob Novack
and Chris Matthews, for example, are warning about the mistake of going
so far to the right as to fall from the political map. They are trying
to explain their fellow travelers in the right and Republican party that
it is, in fact, differences between Al Qaeda and Al Fattah.  Some of
these very few conservatives are warning Bush that following this advise
of unconditional support for Israel will completely alienate 1.2 Billion
Muslims in the world, the Arab allies, the Europeans and mostly everyone
else... and many voters in the US in the long term.

Sure, the pro-Israel lobbyists are hard at work, mobilizing not only
their resources in Congress, their media network and on the streets
(while numbers of the pro-Israel demos this week were highly exaggerated
in some media, the march in Washington and elsewhere were big
nonetheless). But they are not the makers, but the catalyst of a process
in which the Christian coalition and all kind of right wingers feel
secure enough in the present reactionary conjuncture to launch an all
out assault for the power structure, including "their" own president, to
pursue their own ideological interests, regardless.

If Arafat, for whatever reason, does not capitulate fast enough and
unconditionally enough and just stays put for another couple of weeks -
even if he does that out of the same pride that motivated him in Lebanon
or Allende in La Moneda or Chavez in Orchila - this could represent the
crashing point, the turning point to start undoing the conjuncture, and
will not start by the mobilization of masses in the US, but by the
tremendous explosion that the US policies will produce in the rest of
the world and the implosion of the right wing on the top of the White
House, Congress and the Republican and Democratic parties.

I just watched a news program in which Christian fundamentalists,
conservative right wingers and liberal and moderate Democrats ganged
against a poor fellow from the mainstream Bush's camp.  The Democrats,
on the other hand, are painting themselves into a corner by pushing
together with the right wing in this "united front."  They forgot to
leave a rearguard to be the fallback position, it seems.

I turned to the latest poll and it says that Bush dropped 18% in the way
he is conducting his foreign policy and 12% on his overall rating. It is
unfortunate that the pollsters of the ruling class do not ask whether
those deserting Bush are right wingers of left wingers or both.  Then
you have the Venezuelan setback, the Plan Colombia, Georgia, Yemen ...
you name it.  There is plenty more room for more of the same, including
the economy, Argentina, the 2000+ disappeared...  Hey, at one point or
another quantity will be transformed into quality.

Just a thought.

Carlos



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