The promised Middle East [Archives:2006/977/Opinion]

August 31 2006

By: Abdulbari Taher
After 9/11 events America presented the idea of reform and democratization of the Greater Middle East and that dubious and ambiguous call found a response from some powerless elite in Arab countries. The promotion for these terms was false and wrapped up with an ideology where 'goodness and evil' are paved with imperialistic interests as the hope to end corruption in the semi-dead regimes. Unfortunately they are replaced with worse.

The dilemma of bloody and difficult Iraq has exposed the game. Thus the card of reforms and democratization was dropped and the American Yankee unveiled his real face. The war in Iraq began to acquire its sectarian character because is an ideal example of the “Promised Middle East.”

Events of any nation are inseparable with a greater and more challenging test seen in occupied Palestine as the result of free and democratic elections brought the leadership to Hamas and that angered the White House and, its subsidiary, Israel. Thus the American and Israeli response came when America relinquished its false hope for democratization that was promised for the Arab world. On its part Israel declared this month an all-out war against Palestine and that was a collective punishment against people longing strongly for freedom and democracy. A blockade was imposed on the people of Palestine as well as a comprehensive war. Israel believes it is above the law and disregards international opinion by turning its back at international resolutions, denying agreements and declaring war against anything in Palestine. It will assassinate those defending their homeland, kill the children, demolish houses and even destroy the trees.

In addition it kidnaps the opposing government and elected members of parliament – all with dubious Arab and international silence.

Their fire expanded to reach Lebanon. Here Israel seized the incident of two kidnapped soldiers to declare an all-out war on Lebanon. It sent its army to advance towards the Lebanese south and its warships and warplanes to pound the Lebanese villages and towns. In 3 weeks they killed hundreds of civilians, most of them children, women and elderly people and their army became a first-hand child killer. The Israeli army adopted the power of shock and horror, the same tactic the American master used in Iraq, and as in Iraq the air force was the leader of the battle. Israel gambled on winning the battle in a few days, but the Lebanese resistance held their ground against one of the most brutal army in the world.

The Israeli army did not win a short battle as it expected, even with its American backing, thus France and America come forward with a draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council, and they gave Israel what it has failed to win in the battlefield.

It is true that there are different views on within the Security Council member states and the steadfastness and bravery of the resistance, the Lebanese rally behind it and the Arab people's reaction slowed the passing of a draft resolution that was absolutely biased to the Israeli aggressors. The resolution did not call for immediate ceasefire and it gives Israel the right to keep positions it secured in the battle, under an international blessing, and later under an international guard. It is also a project for an internal sedition, as Mr. Nabih Berri, speaker of the Lebanese National Assembly described it. The more dangerous element is the escalation of aggression and the wavering with the draft resolution. But more important is the obstructed land invasion and Israel's retreat against the now legendary fighting of the resistance. The international community was hesitant to give Lebanon power after they defeated the unconquerable army, bewildered the Americans and restored life to the official Arab death.

Forcing the Israeli army to keep its presence limited to the border strip and unable to extend its advance further for four weeks represented the main factor to change the international attitude of support for Israel.

Abdulbari Taher is a Yemeni Journalist and the former chairman of Yemeni Journalists Syndicate.