Saturday, April 17, 2004

Fatuous Credulity in DC

A cold chill goes down our spine when we are forced, in the absence of any other rational explanation, to realize that George Bush and most of his advisors actually and really believe their own anti-terrorist rhetoric. There can be no other explanation for Bush’s blatant political stupidity in complying with Sharon’s request for a major shift in United States official policy in exchange for the Gaza evacuation plan.

Faced with a major crisis of U.S. policy in Iraq and all over the Arab world, growingly isolated among the very strata and sectors of the Arab world that he presumably is trying to win over, George Bush has crudely affronted the sensitivities of any who care in the least about the suffering of the Palestinian people and about the chances for peace in the region. Anyone with a minimum of knowledge of the area could have told him that this is about the worst possible thing that he could have done at this time. Have all the advisors finally and irrevocably learned the lesson that the boss must be told only things that he wants to hear? Bush allows himself to be so ill-advised, because the issues are so clear and simple to him. It is after all a simple question of who are the terrorists, who is really fighting them and who isn’t really doing the job. It is just one more example of the Bushites in power believing what they want to believe.

Let’s try and look into their head. The terrorists are Palestinians. Sharon is very experienced in the fight against terror. Sharon is our point man because we are fighting terror and need all the help we can get. Arafat may not be exactly a terrorist, but he doesn’t really help us against terror. Sharon has requested this from him again and again and he simply doesn’t deliver. Sharon must be rewarded for his courage in fighting terror and this will cause others to emulate him. Clear?

As a rule, one should be able to take comfort when our Bushite opponents act like total imbeciles. Sooner than later, people who make policy without any basis in reality are going to suffer reverses and get into big trouble. This has and is happening to the United States under the leadership of George Bush.

So why is this all so scary? Because the United States enjoys an unchallenged monopoly of brute force in international relations and it will tend to compensate itself for inevitable reverses by the use of more and more disproportional force. By its policy of repeating its diktat to all parties to either join its anti-terrorist coalition or suffer the consequences, the United States achieves the exact opposite. Bush’s policies swell the ranks of the real terrorists, augment their prestige and improve their standing in their own communities. It might be a bit of an exaggeration to suggest that this is the intended result of Bush’s policy. However, one thing is sure: Bush and his administration will continue to point to increased terrorist activity and influence, which stem from their very own policies, as conclusive proof of the correctness of their policy, in the first place.

Not only Sharon is hard at work. Israel’s Chief-of-Staff sent along this bit of wisdom last week. “The Chief-in-Command, MosheYa’alon, still thinks that it will be a surprise if weapons of mass destruction will not be found in Iraq. – Ha’aretz, April 11, 2004 p.3). Does he know something that we don’t? We, on our part, think that it will be a surprise if the increased reports of Israeli presence in Iraq will not be found absolutely reliable.