What is looming in the horizon? [Archives:2005/819/Opinion]

February 24 2005

Hassan Al-Haifi
With the Bush administration seemingly entrenched for the second term of George W. Bush's presidency, it is unlikely that the previous term will be any helpful guide for the President to follow, in light of all the obvious faults that materialized. Needless to say, it is hard to determine if President George W. Bush recognizes any faults having occurred in the last term, because there is a looming aura of, it is “more of the same and then some”. Leadership of the world based on the assumptions of might makes right is a scary venue to consider, and the experiences of the last term have shown that it is not always taken to heart, even by the close-set of allies or friends. How long can the US continue to ignore the feelings of a sizable segment of the population of the world, who were hoping that the United States will give weight to their opinions on the proper conduct of US policy vis a vis the rest of the world? Therefore, one wonders how Mr. Bush's attempts to make amends with the European allies will filter down to also convince the European people to be less skeptical of the United States. They are far more intelligent than to allow themselves to forget being ignored, since after all their leaders had voiced their opinions about the US unilateral approach to deciding the fate of nations, based on their reading of the feelings of their constituencies. In addition, Mr. Bush will find it difficult to convince the Europeans that the US wants to go places with them, especially as there is still very little consultations on matters of international concern: the Iraq War and when it should see an end, the increasing sound of war drums looming over the Persian Gulf with outright threats of possible engagement with Iran, when Iran has neither harbored any direct animosity to the United States nor carried out any acts that have threatened world peace. The sad part is that the only friend or ally that Washington has open ears to has been Israel and it is Israel that has managed to get all that it wants Washington do get done without any hesitation or calculation of the consequences of such actions by the latter.

Israel may be biding time with some minor overtures to a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian problem, but it is far from being really clear how far Israel wants to indeed reach a peaceful conclusion of a messy conflict that has been made the more messy because Washington has given Tel Aviv all the green light it needed to make a mess out of Gaza and the West Bank over the last four years. This is not to mention the fact that Israeli intelligence was a heavy basis for the entry of the US into Iraq and even to this day Israeli intelligence continues to play a heavy role in the formulation of US policy towards Iran. It is becoming harder and harder to dismiss the likelihood that the US is indeed seeking to get into direct engagement with Iran and this is reinforced by the continued belligerence displayed by Washington with strong rhetoric that may not be all that convincing that the US is merely trying to disarm any nuclear agenda that Iran has. One only has to recall how the mounting belligerency and strong rhetoric that preceded the Iraqi invasion was both baseless and had reason and logic prevailed in the White House and the Pentagon, Iraq and the rest of the world might have been spared a lot of senseless bloodshed, in which scores are dying every day and life has actually deteriorated for the Iraqi people rather than improved.

On the other hand, the tragic death of former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Al-Hariiri and the rising political instability that arose seems to reinforce the notion that the area as a whole is in for more instability and a climate of unpredictability, and as Iraq has shown that is not something to look forward to.

It is time for Washington to lay everything out on the table. How long must it continue to become a source of instability at the behest of a right wing establishment that believes it should have the power to impose its own values on the rest of the world and a Zionist establishment that believes that Israel's perpetual might and unchallenged military superiority in the Middle East should be its only guarantee to coexistence with the indigenous populations of the region? Israel must never forgot that the overwhelming majority of the people in the region have not gotten any closer to trusting Israel, just because Washington is so cozy with it and is out to make sure that Israel has it her way, no matter what. Israel has never sought peace, because its charter does not allow for peaceful coexistence unless the Zionist agenda of Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile is fully achieved. Oh, it will give lip service to peace, as is the case now, to make it easier for Washington to pursue other objectives for her, such as to come to a showdown with Iran. However, the experience has shown that its actions in the Holy Land over the past four years and its annihilation of previous venues of a hopeful peace, are nowhere near helpful to the achievement of peace. You can talk to anyone in the region and they will tell you without a doubt that Israel is goading the US into more trouble than could possibly be borne by Washington and creating a very uncomfortable environment for the people of the region to continue their lives without tension and fear of bloodshed coming their way.

Thank heavens it is over

The recent uncomfortable situation by the tit for tat between the two former strategic allies, the People's General Congress and the Yemeni Congregation for Reform did raise eyebrows here and there and there was an almost scary feeling that political differences are going to reach violent stages. Thank God however, the leaderships of both parties realized that Yemen's interests would not be served by any further exchange of verbal lashes between them. The Yemeni people would do better without any political violence for now as there are really very many problems that should keep everyone busy for some time, to have to worry about certain personal differences between grown men on both sides of the political spectrum of the PGC and Islah. God bless our country and keep it immune from all political commotions. Really we have better things to do, like fighting poverty and eliminating corruption.