It is time to declare a cease-fire and end the killing in the Middle East. The martial madness is lurching out-of-control and threatens to involve more countries and more innocent people. Jerusalem is a holy city of the great prophets of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and it is once again being torn apart by an endless, mindless cycle of vengeful killing that has continued in the area for 4,000 years. Millions of people have been died and these three religious faiths have been used as reasons to kill.
The great medieval Crusades of the Christians slaughtered Jews as they marched across Europe down to the Holy Land to kill Arabs and drive them from Jerusalem. The interminable bloody conflict over Palestine and Jerusalem between Jewish Israelis and Islamic Arabs continues the senseless slaughter and madness of mortal combat. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all descend from Abraham, and their principal prophets preached peace, justice and love. The United States should convene a peace conference in Jerusalem.
President George W. Bush must take a bold and imaginative step for peace in spite of the corporate interests who appear to control his administration. As a person who professes his love of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Mr. Bush must stand up to the weapons, energy, media and entertainment industries who profit most from war and violence. Only three days after the disastrous attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I made a similar request of Mr. Bush to go Jerusalem and make peace rather than make war in an essay entitled “An Eye for An Eye”. It was published in various papers and on web-sites and I addressed the war profit motives of corporate interests.
On September 14, 2001, I wrote, “Billions of U.S. tax dollars supply the sophisticated weaponry of the Israelis and the armed forces of Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt while the U. S. defense industry makes big profits. The U.S. dominated energy cartel uses Middle-Eastern conflict as an excuse to charge exorbitant prices to an energy dependent world and increase their revenues. If the U.S. declares war and attacks oil-producing Arabic countries in retaliation for the “Attack on America,” the weapons industry will rake in even more profits, the energy industry will have an excuse to charge more for their products and the big media conglomerate’s ratings and profits will soar over the coverage of the violence and carnage of war.”
We have not yet directly attacked an oil-producing Arabic country like Iraq, but the Bush administration has been furiously beating the war drums to do so. Our failure to make necessary peace initiatives in the escalating conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians has rallied every member of the Arab League to oppose our proposed war against Iraq. The Arab nations want the United States to give its full support to the Saudi-proposed peace plan that establishes a separate Palestinian state. The Arab states also expressed their resentment of the United States and Israel calling Arab suicide bombers “terrorists” instead of referring to them as “martyrs”. The escalating war in the Middle-East has furnished an excuse to raise the price of oil, benefitting U.S. oil companies along with oil-producing nations. The war against Afghanistan also has big oil implications.
The war against Afghanistan has enabled the Bush administration to install an interim government in Afghanistan headed by Hamid Karzai, a former consultant for the UNOCAL oil company. Another UNOCAL oil consultant, Zalmay Khalizad, was nominated by Bush as a special envoy to the Afghan government. UNOCAL and the U.S. government worked for several years prior to September 11, 2001 to secure a deal with the Afghan government to construct a major pipeline from the petroleum-rich Caspian sea basin through Afghanistan. Leaders of the Taliban government were brought to Houston, Texas in 1997 as part of that effort. Coincidentally, the Afghan war-inspired coalition with the previously “unfriendly” regime in Pakistan also helps insure that the pipeline can be built on down through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea.
With all the talk of never-ending-war against terrorism and the mythical “axis of evil,” the makers of killing tools in the U.S. weapons industry are set to make even more enormous profits.
Dan Rather is now coming to us live from Jerusalem as the media moves more of its war coverage to the Middle-East. Recent reports from Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem showed Israeli soldiers firing in the direction of non-violent peace protestors from Europe and the United States, a Boston Globe reporter shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers, and frightened families among the some 10,000 U.S. citizens of Palestinian ancestry living in the Ramallah area north of Jerusalem. U.S. reporters told of being forced to leave the area by Israeli soldiers at gunpoint and big Israeli tanks rumbling through the town of Bethlehem, reeking destruction.
The United States is on the sidelines in peace efforts as weapons supplied by U.S. taxpayers are used in an all out war against many innocent Palestinians. The war is to avenge the acts of those the Israelis and the United States calls “terrorists” but the Arabs call “martyrs”.
Retributive killing has always been the human species ultimate evil-doing, causing human suffering that far surpasses the misery inflicted on us by disease, pestilence, and so-called “natural causes.” Murder is the greatest taboo in all cultures, but state sanctioned killing for revenge is hyped as a “just war” by the talking heads on the evening news and is approved by most U.S. politicians. War sells. The mass murder of war is romanticized and glamorized by war profiteering corporate interests, from the weapons industry to the violence-peddling entertainment and media industry.
I wrote last September, “.. why doesn’t President Bush convene a peace conference in Jerusalem with all the leaders of the nations and religions involved. He could declare the biblical “New Jerusalem” and gather at the Temple Mount with these powerful leaders who always seem to call on the poor people to fight and die in the madness of mortal combat. We need to work harder than ever before for peace. We must convince our fellow human beings that there is no difference among people anywhere worth killing one more person over.”
Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and civil rights activist in Columbia, South Carolina. http://www.turnipseed.net