Rene — Fisk — George Bush has legitimised terrorism

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George Bush has legitimised terrorism
What better recruiting sergeant could Bin Laden have than the President of
the United States?
By Robert Fisk
16 April 2004
The Independent
So President George Bush tears up the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan
and that’s okay. Israeli settlements for Jews and Jews only on the
West Bank. That’s okay. Taking land from Palestinians who have owned
that land for generations, that’s okay. UN Security Council Resolution
242 says that land cannot be acquired by war. Forget it. That’s
okay. Does President George Bush actually work for al-Qa’ida? What
does this mean? That George Bush cares more about his re-election than
he does about the Middle East? Or that George Bush is more frightened
of the Israeli lobby than he is of his own electorate. Fear not, it is
the latter.
His language, his narrative, his discourse on history, has been such a
lie these past three weeks that I wonder why we bother to listen to
his boring press conferences. Ariel Sharon, the perpetrator of the
Sabra and Shatila massacre (1,700 Palestinian civilians dead) is a
“man of peace” – even though the official 1993 Israeli report on the
massacre said he was “personally responsible” for it. Now, Mr Bush is
praising Mr Sharon’s plan to steal yet more Palestinian land as a
“historic and courageous act”.
Heaven spare us all. Give up the puny illegal Jewish settlements in
Gaza and everything’s okay: the theft of land by colonial settlers,
the denial of any right of return to Israel by those Palestinians who
lived there, that’s okay. Mr Bush, who claimed he changed the Middle
East by invading Iraq, says he is now changing the world by invading
Iraq! Okay! Is there no one to cry “Stop! Enough!”?
Two nights ago, this most dangerous man, George Bush, talked about
“freedom in Iraq”. Not “democracy” in Iraq. No, “democracy” was no
longer mentioned. “Democracy” was simply left out of the
equation. Now it was just “freedom” – freedom from Saddam rather than
freedom to have elections. And what is this “f reedom” supposed to
involve? One group of American-appointed Iraqis will cede power to
another group of American-appointed Iraqis. That will be the “historic
handover” of Iraqi “sovereignty”. Yes, I can well see why George Bush
wants to witness a “handover” of sovereignty. “Our boys” must be out
of the firing line – let the Iraqis be the sandbags.
Iraqi history is already being written. In revenge for the brutal
killing of four American mercenaries – for that is what they were – US
Marines carried out a massacre of hundreds of women and children and
guerillas in the Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah. The US military says
that the vast majority of the dead were militants. Untrue, say the
doctors. But the hundreds of dead, many of whom were indeed civilians,
were a shameful reflection on the rabble of American soldiery who
conducted these undisciplined attacks on Fallujah. Many Baghdadi
Sunnis say that in the “New Iraq” – the Iraqi version, not the Paul
Bremer version – Fallujah should be given the status of a new Iraqi
Vast areas of the Palestinian West Bank will now become Israel,
courtesy of President Bush. Land which belongs to people other than
Israelis must now be stolen by Israelis because it is “unrealistic” to
accept otherwise. Is Mr Bush a thief? Is he a criminal? Can he be
charged with abetting a criminal act? Can Iraq now claim to Kuwait
that it is “unrealistic” that the Ottoman borders can be changed?
Palestinian land once included all of what is now Israel. It is not,
apparently, “realistic” to change this, even to two per cent?
Is Saddam Hussein to be re-bottled and put back in charge of Iraq on
the basis that his 1990 invasion of Kuwait was “realistic”? Or that
his invasion of Iran – when we helped him try to destroy Ayatollah
Khomeini’s revolution – was “realistic” because he initially attacked
only the Arabic-speaking (and thus “Iraqi”) parts of Iran?
Or, since President Bush now seems to be a history buff, are the
Germans to be given back Danzig or the Sudetenland? Or Austria? Or
should we perhaps recreate the colonial possessions of the past 100
years? Is it not “realistic” that the French should retake Algeria –
or part of Algeria – on the basis that the people all speak French, on
the basis that this was once part of the French nation? Or should the
British retake Cyprus? Or Aden? Or Egypt? Shouldn’t the French be
allowed to take back Lebanon and Syria? Why shouldn’t the British
re-take America and boot out those pesky “terrorists” who oppose the
rule of King George’s democracy well over 200 years ago?
Because this is what George Bush’s lunacy and weakness can lead to. We
all have lands that “God” gave us. Didn’t Queen Mary die with “Calais”
engraved on her heart? Doesn’t Spain have a legitimate right to the
Netherlands? Or Sweden the right to Norway and Denmark? Every colonial
power, including Israel can put forward these preposterous demands.
What Bush has actually done is give way to the crazed world of
Christian Zionism. The fundamentalist Christians who support Israel’s
theft of the West Bank on the grounds that the state of Israel must
exist there according to God’s law until the second coming, believe
that Jesus will return to earth and the Israelis – for this is the
Bush “Christian Sundie” belief – will then have to convert to
Christianity or die in the battle of Amargeddon.
I kid thee not. This is the Christian fundamentalist belief, which
even the Israeli embassy in Washington go along with – without
comment, of course – in their weekly Christian Zionist prayer
meetings. Every claim by Osama bin Laden, every statement that the
United States represents Zionism and supports the theft of Arab lands
will now have been proved true to millions of Arabs, even those who
had no time for Bin Laden. What better recruiting sergeant could Bin
Laden have than George Bush. Doesn’t he realise what this means for
young American soldiers in Iraq or are Israelis more important than
American lives in Mesopotamia? Everything the US government has done
to preserve its name as a “middle-man” in the Middle East has now been
thrown away by this gutless, cowardly US President, George W Bush.
That it will place his soldiers at greater risk doesn’t worry him –
anyway, he doesn’t do funerals. That it goes against natural justice
doesn’t worry him. That his statements are against international law
is of no consequence.
And still we have to cow-tow to this man. If we are struck by
al-Qa’ida it is our fault. And if 90 per cent of the population of
Spain point out that they opposed the war, then they are
pro-terrorists to complain that 200 of their civilians were killed by
al-Qa’ida. First the Spanish complain about the war, then they are
made to suffer for it – and then they are condemned as “appeasers” by
the Bush regime and its craven journalists when they complain that
their husbands and wives and sons did not deserve to die.
If this is to be their fate, excuse me, but I would like to have a
Spanish passport so that I can share the Spanish people’s “cowardice”!
If Mr Sharon is “historic” and “courageous”, then the murderers of
Hamas and Islamic Jihad will be able to claim the same. Mr Bush
legitimised “terrorism” this week – and everyone who loses a limb or a
life can thank him for his yellow streak. And, I fear, they can thank
Mr Blair for his cowardice too.
© 2004 The Independent. UK.