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Sharon "is a person who believes that you solve things by force. Ever since he was a young soldier, he was more or less educated to believe you solve all problems by force."
Uzi Benzamin; Ha’aretz columnist
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach"
The Bush Road Map will be paved with Palestinians.
Sharon will see to that.
At his present clip of 2800 Palestinians (killed) every three years, though, he’d better pick up the tempo. There’s 3 million more "obstacles to peace" in the West Bank and Gaza that will make his job uphill the rest of the way.
Of all blunders Sharon has committed in his years as Israeli Prime Minister, murdering Sheik Yassin was the worst. Now, the world gets a first hand look at his dirty-work; a seventy year old paraplegic blown up in front of a crowded Mosque with half his charred head removed and his brains laying on the street beside him. (Available on the internet)
What do you think the impact of that image is?
Do you think that the legions of Israeli apologists who stormed America’s media shortly after the assassination, crowding onto TV screens and radio shows to parrot their inane blather about "the war on terrorism," changed the affect of that one picture?
People know murder when they see it, and this was the worst type of "calculated" state slaughter imaginable.
We would have to go back about a year, to the "cheery" media extravaganza of "Shock and Awe" (where state TV enlisted its fascinated viewers to the joy of bombing defenseless civilians) to find an event equally revolting.
No one who pays attention to events in the Middle East has any illusions about Sharon’s intentions. The murder was orchestrated to maximize the violence in the region and disguise the further annexation of Palestinian land.
End of story.
And, its not surprising that the "saber-rattling" Bush squad tacitly endorsed the action by blocking a unanimous resolution in the UN to condemn the killing. It never worries people in the White House that American citizens are at greater risk because of their actions. Americans (like my son) would be well advised to place a target where they feel most comfortable having a bullet pass through them on their travels.
None of this has slowed the inexorable growth in settlement activity. Settlement building rose by 35% in the last year despite a US led peace initiative that calls for a complete freeze to all such construction. Israeli government figures show that 1850 new settler homes were built in the past year. This is rationalized under the rubric of "natural growth," a theory that resembles America’s "Manifest Destiny"; the legitimizing of stealing the land of Native Americans and displacing them onto reservations.
Not much has changed.
None of this has had any affect on the prodigious flow of resources from the US to Israel; $9 billion in loan guarantees this year alone. Any action, however brutal, taken by Israel continues to be underwritten by the American taxpayer, a phenomenon that hasn’t passed unnoticed in capitals around the world.
The violence directed at Sheik Yassin was neither personal nor was it for national security. It can only be appreciated in the context of Sharon’s larger plan for "unilateral disengagement;" an officious sounding sobriquet for "apartheid."
The final execution of this plan is the culmination of Sharon’s life work. It’s clear that Sharon wants to be the man who "solved" the "Palestinian problem;" the man who created the archipelago of crowded enclaves, where people of the wrong ethnic makeup are enclosed in miniature prisons.
The Bush Administration has provided its imprimatur to this ghoulish plan. As a matter of fact, it looks as though the US may be trying to duplicate the same policy in Baghdad, only on a much larger scale.
As the US troops withdraw to the perimeter under the banner of "sovereignty", (absolving them of their responsibilities to provide security for the Iraqis) Baghdad may soon become the new West Bank.
And you thought we couldn’t learn anything from our friends?
MIKE WHITNEY can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org