FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Sharon’s Bloody War Beat

There is something terribly wrong in this picture!

A new game in town has become the latest craze. Almost everyone seems to accept its rules, and enjoy playing it accordingly.

The Palestinian Authority considered it a triumph. The wimpy Russian and European governments welcomed it as a belated adoption of their vision. And the ever so servile Kofi Annan hailed it as an embodiment of new diplomatic thinking from Washington, finally substituting a multilateral process for an entrenched, decades-old unilateral approach to “resolving”–or managing–the Arab-Israeli conflict. The extremist right-wing government of Israel could not hide its glee, despite its public grumbles about it.

The subject of all this frenzy is a new creature called the Quartet. It comprises the United States (playing the drum, and acting-maestro), the European Union (playing the violin), Russia (trying to play the flute) and, yes, the United Nations (playing the maestro’s baton), in their respective order of relevance, and it aims at tackling the conundrum, otherwise called Middle East peace.

Seriously, now, the mere fact that the UN should be relegated to the status of a junior partner with two states–one and a half, really–and a collection of states is a telling sign of the newest world order, where the international organization–by definition, an umbrella that should be above the three others–instead of leading the efforts to resolve the age-old conflict in the region, according to the precepts of international law, is being herded by a rope, a tight one at that, and is forbidden from even barking when scolded for stepping out of line.

A non skeptic might protest: what matters is what the Quartet actually does, not its composition, or who leads whom. Let us for the sake of argument grant the validity of this pragmatic attitude. In other words, let’s accept–for now–that the recently throned American Empire is entitled to command even the union of nations of which it is ostensibly a mere member, and focus on that “team’s” actions instead.

Well, the Quartet’s first sonata was to draft a so-called roadmap aimed at bringing peace to the Middle East, by showing both parties how to get “there” from here. Of course, no one agrees on quite where “there” might be, but who cares? We were told about this draft in the media, but hardly anyone really saw it. Since then, everyone has been literally begging the US president–who?–to publish that document in order to launch the negotiation process. “Why the US president?”, a semi-intelligent observer might ask? “Shouldn’t Kofi do the honours? He is, after all, the most senior of all four players.” He is, theoretically speaking. But why get bogged down in such superficial detail? Let’s focus on the big picture, we are urged. Ok. Let’s.

Regardless who ought to decide on the date and manner of publication of this miraculous map–it is sounding more like a faintly legible map to some treasure in the Twilight Zone–why has it been delayed to this extent. Isn’t the situation between the Palestinians and Israelis pressing enough to grant a prompt international involvement? Depends whom you ask.

First, Sharon lobbied to delay the publication until after the Israeli elections. Bush et al immediately accepted that wise suggestion. When election day was behind us, though, Sharon asked for another delay until after the new Israeli government has been formed. Of course, that makes sense. For how can the venerable Quartet sell its stuff without having a stable party representing Israel on the other side of the table. And after the most fanatical right-wing government to ever lead Israel was sworn in, the whole circus was preempted–sorry, no better term to use here–by the War on Terror: The Sequel. With everyone busy planning, executing or protesting that, no one really had the energy or resources to engage in deciphering thorny roadmaps.

Have some faith, please! Eventually, we shall be blessed with the disclosure of this jewel.

Whenever the US president feels perfectly focused–as if that were at all possible–and ready, he will announce its contents. And each of the other members of the orchestra will play along in impeccable harmony. Except, the thundering thumps of the US drum will humble the rest of the pitiful orchestra. And if we listen acutely enough we may well hear echoes of a drum-beat that we’ve heard before. A relentlessly abrasive, repressive, dominating beat that we grew sick of hearing. Only then shall we recognize that we’ve been duped. It is Sharon’s bloody war-beat, fixed, mixed, carefully filtered, equalized, recycled, and marketed to us as a genuine Vivaldi.

OMAR BARGHOUTI is a Palestinian political analyst. His article “9.11 Putting the Moment on Human Terms” was chosen among the “Best of 2002” by the Guardian.

He can be reached at jenna@palnet.com.

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
July 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.
Anthony DiMaggio
System Capture 2020: The Role of the Upper-Class in Shaping Democratic Primary Politics
Andrew Levine
South Carolina Speaks for Whom?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Big Man, Pig Man
Bruce E. Levine
The Groundbreaking Public Health Study That Should Change U.S. Society—But Won’t
Evaggelos Vallianatos
How the Trump Administration is Eviscerating the Federal Government
Pete Dolack
All Seemed Possible When the Sandinistas Took Power 40 years Ago
Ramzy Baroud
Who Killed Oscar and Valeria: The Inconvenient History of the Refugee Crisis
Ron Jacobs
Dancing with Dr. Benway
Joseph Natoli
Gaming the Climate
Marshall Auerback
The Numbers are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts are a Bust
Louisa Willcox
Wild Thoughts About the Wild Gallatin
Kenn Orphan
Stranger Things, Stranger Times
Mike Garrity
Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem
Helen Yaffe
Cuban Workers Celebrate Salary Rise From New Economic Measures
Brian Cloughley
What You Don’t Want to be in Trump’s America
David Underhill
The Inequality of Equal Pay
David Macaray
Adventures in Script-Writing
David Rosen
Say Goodbye to MAD, But Remember the Fight for Free Expression
Nick Pemberton
This Is Heaven!: A Journey to the Pearly Gates with Chuck Mertz
Dan Bacher
Chevron’s Oil Spill Endangers Kern County
J.P. Linstroth
A Racist President and Racial Trauma
Binoy Kampmark
Spying on Julian Assange
Rose Ramirez – Dedrick Asante-Mohammad
A Trump Plan to Throw 50,000 Kids Out of Their Schools
David Bravo
Precinct or Neighborhood? How Barcelona Keeps Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Global Capital
Ralph Nader
Will Any Disgusted Republicans Challenge Trump in the Primaries?
Dave Lindorff
The BS about Medicare-for-All Has to Stop!
Arnold August
Why the Canadian Government is Bullying Venezuela
Tom Clifford
China and the Swine Flu Outbreak
Missy Comley Beattie
Highest Anxiety
Jill Richardson
Weapons of the Weak
Peter Certo
Washington vs. The Squad
Peter Bolton
Trump’s Own Background Reveals the True Motivation Behind Racist Tweets: Pure White Supremacy
Colin Todhunter
From Mad Cow Disease to Agrochemicals: Time to Put Public Need Ahead of Private Greed
Nozomi Hayase
In Crisis of Democracy, We All Must Become Julian Assange
Wim Laven
The Immoral Silence to the Destructive Xenophobia of “Just Leave”
Cecily Myart-Cruz
McDonald’s: Stop Exploiting Our Schools
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Veggie Gardens Won’t Feed us in a Real Crisis
CounterPunch News Service
A Homeless Rebellion – Mission Statement/Press Release
Louis Proyect
Parallel Lives: Cheney and Ailes
David Yearsley
Big in the Bungalow of Believers
Ellen Taylor
The Northern Spotted Owls’ Tree-Sit
July 18, 2019
Timothy M. Gill
Bernie Sanders, Anti-Imperialism and Venezuela
W. T. Whitney
Cuba and a New Generation of Leaders Respond to U.S. Anti-People War
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail