______ Arafat or what is going on in the Middle East

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Fri Sep 19 20:17:34 MDT 2003

"Ultimately only the people can defeat the ambitions of the Americans."

I think basically that the Americans will defeat themselves in foreign
policy, not just because of their debt problems, political ineptitude or
their dependence on foreign resources, but because of the internal social
contradictions of American society. I have chatted with quite a few
Americans of the younger generation, and strikingly none of them were "proud
Americans" who believed or had any faith in what the rulers of their society
are doing. The same thing is revealed in quality opinion surveys, although
the idea that there could be social classes in American society is usually
an anathema to the "objective"  American researchers, who put billionaires
and paupers in the same social category on the basis that "all are created

The obsessive focus on an individual like Arafat is merely a pathetic
admission that the policy makers of the Bush administration in this area are
unable to really improve the situation in Israel/Palestine, never mind
resolving the problems. But the point is that solving the problems is not
even the intention of the Bush Administration, because, as christian
fundamentalists, they see the matter in terms of defending the Zionist
state, the Zionist project, rather than in terms of a modern socio-political
and human problem that must be solved equitably, based on honestly
investigating and answering the question "what would really constitute an
acceptable solution to all or most of the people involved ?".

I have referred previously to PNAC and Elliot Abrams, and if you grasp their
motivation, you will see that it is all about the assertion, defence and
imposition of specific values, and it is these values which guide policy,
not a genuine dialogue and engagement with the people concerned, with their
values. It's just crude power politics based on military-economic
superiority. This is a very different methodology from asking honestly "What
do most Israeli's actually want ?" and "What do most Palestinians actually
want ?" and "What can we do, to ensure that they get what they want, as much
as is practically feasible, so that a peaceful modus vivendi results ?".

The basic problem that the US government has is - regardless of your
analysis of the situation - that military superiority and military
operations do not really solve the social, cultural and economic problems,
as is becoming very clear in Iraq and Afghanistan. The concept of "regime
change" just doesn't really work, because you cannot liberate people "from
above", and people just do not accept that, precisely because they share the
humanistic concept of liberty that many Americans cherish, in whatever way
they might express that. At most you can control people "from above", but in
so doing, you just make more and more enemies, not friends.

Washington often hopes for "quick surgical wars" that will save the world
for private enterprise, christian decency and deregulated markets, but it is
more like "the scratch that leads to gangrene".


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