FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

When In Doubt, Start Another Civil War

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

There’s one thing George Bush knows. You don’t get to be the biggest arms merchant in the world by only selling arms to friends. If that were the case the only countries to which we’d sell arms would be countries like Great Britain and Canada and they’re not going to buy enough to keep us in first place. And it’s not Mr. Bush’s fault that he doesn’t know that there is a history in the United States of selling arms to people who have ended up using the arms against the United States. After all, it’s hard enough for him to keep up with what’s going on right now.

If he knew history, he’d know that in the 1980s the United States sold Iran 12,000 anti-tank missiles, 235 Hawk missiles and 200 Phoenix air-to-air missiles costing more than $1 million each. He’d recall that when we thought Mr. bin Laden was our friend for trying to kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan (a country to which we are now bringing law and order in order to show the Russians how good old American know-how can get the job done) we provided him with stinger missiles. The ones bin Laden couldn’t use he sold to Iran and got cash that has helped in his ongoing battle with his former arms supplier). Now Mr. Bush is arming the Palestinian organization known as Fatah.

President Mahmoud Abbas is a member of the Fatah party and the president of the Palestinian Authority. He was elected in 2005 and until 2006 Fatah controlled the Palestinian Authority. Some parts of Fatah get along with Israel-sort of. In 2006 legislative elections were held. Hamas won and took control of parliament. Fatah cabinet members resigned and were replaced by Hamas members. Hamas does not get along with Israel. It wants it removed from the face of the earth. Since the elections, relations between Fatah and Hamas have been tense and often violent. The two groups have tried unsuccessfully to form a unity government and since that failed have resorted to shooting at one another in the streets.

Mr. Bush is very concerned about the destabilizing effect a full-scale conflict between the two groups could have on the region. He fears it could turn into another Iraq. One way of dealing with the concern would be for him to initiate talks with the two groups and see if there is a way forward that would protect Israel’s right to exist while at the same time eliminating the risk of civil war between Hamas and Fatah. That is impossible because the United States (and Israel for that matter) do not talk to groups that are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Mr. Bush also doesn’t talk to countries he doesn’t like but that’s another story. Ever creative, Mr. Bush has another plan. Sell arms.

Mr. Bush is going to pour $86 million into the coffers of Fatah. That is more than the total of all the monies the United States has given the PLO since it was formed in 1994. None of this aid would be necessary if Fatah had not lost the 2006 election. The money will help it regain what it lost at the ballot box. Mr. Bush understands that kind of thinking since he had to go the Supreme Court to become president after losing at the ballot box.

According to media reports in late December, with Israel’s and the United States’s approval, 2,000 AK-47s and two million bullets were transferred to Mr. Abbas’s security forces, many of whom are loyal to Mr. Abbas and to Fatah. (Fatah’s armed wing known as Al-Aqsa fighters are hostile to Israel and some Fatah folk have launched terrorist attacks against both the U.S and Israel but Mr. Bush hopes those people won’t be given those weapons.) With $86 million it’s a sure bet there will be lots more weapons heading Fatah’s way. More arms is a sure fire way to bring peace to that region.

There is, of course, always the chance that the arms being sold will eventually be used against the merchant (us) or even Israel. That is because there are people loyal to Fatah who dislike Israel. Bassam Eid, head of the Palestinian Rights Monitoring Group in East Jerusalem says the Fatah faction is not a moderate movement and that the infusion of cash will “double the number of thugs” in Fatah. Dennis Roth, a Middle East advisor to two administrations said: “The $86 million reflects the basic sense in the administration that the only way to change things is through confrontation.”

That is not surprising. Bullies are usually inarticulate and prefer a show of force to a show of brains, especially when not possessed of the latter. Mr. Bush is their poster child.

CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI is a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. He can be reached at: Brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. Visit his website: http://hraos.com/

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail