By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
And what of the rest of the region? It would be wrong to believe that a majority of the Arab world really loves and supports Saddam Hussein. But Americans, who live in a sports-addicted nation, should know the emotional pleasures of rooting for the underdog. This is all the more true because of the Bush administration’s two-year tilt toward the Likud extremists who currently run Israel, which has intensified its repressions of the Palestinians under cover of the war on Iraq, hoping the world would be too preoccupied to notice. (The BBC reported this past Sunday that Israeli Special Forces had infiltrated a Gaza village on a horse and cart dressed as farmers — and then summarily killed seven Palestinians. I did not hear Rummy & Co. denounce this murderous ruse as “terrorist.”)
The vital Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been another casualty of this war. And in this optic, the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who over the past weekend poured into the streets of the region’s capitals — including that of our Egyptian client state — to protest the war identify Bush with Ariel Sharon and the Iraqis with the Palestinians. (Colin Powell didn’t help when he chose a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the well-oiled pro-Israeli lobby, as the forum from which to thunder his threats against Iran and Syria on Sunday). Moreover, the distrust, disgust and fear with which the Arab masses now view the United States — when it’s not heated to outright hatred by TV’s portrayal of more Iraqi and Palestinian civilian deaths — promise a decade of living dangerously for all the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
Already Cairo’s grand mufti (appointed by Mubarak) and the chief Syrian mullah have called for jihad against the U.S./Brit invaders. In Jordan, where the mammoth numbers of exiled Palestinians have already rebelled once against the pro-Western monarchy, one of the leading mullahs who called for jihad was removed on Saturday by the security forces of the autocratic king, and replaced by a more pliant cleric who read an anodyne discourse written by the King’s propagandists (occasioning a demo by middle-class Jordanians). The war has also helped the never-truly-vanquished Taliban to recruit new (or simply temporarily retired) adherents and intensify their violent undermining of the American puppet Hamid Karzai. How long will the dictators and autarchs in the Muslim world, most of them propped up for years by the U.S., be able to keep the cork in the bottle?
The military victory against Saddam will, of course, be won. But the peace has already been lost — not just in Iraq but among its neighbors. And that’s but a partial catalog of the dangers resulting from this unnecessary, illegal war.
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