Bush Copies the Biggest Failure of John Foster Dullesís Playbook By Treating the Hamas Victory in the Palestinian Elections like the Aswan Dam


††††††††††† In the early 1950ís, the United States Congress agreed to provide funds for Egypt to build the high dam at Aswan.After Egyptian President Nasser started to buy weapons from Moscow because he could not purchase them from the west, Dulles, in a fit of pique, withdrew the funding for the dam.


††††††††††† Russia stepped in to finance the dam, and the cycle of events stemming from the Aswan fiasco were major contributing causes of the 1956 Middle East war where France, Britain and Israel invaded Egypt and conquered the Sinai peninsula. (Ariel Sharon was a brigade commander in that war, and during the two months he spent in Sinai waiting to be replaced by United Nations troops, he mapped the Sinai peninsula and pre positioned hidden supplies and ammunition.Israel clearly intended to return, which it did in 1967.For the past 50 years there has always been a ďHitlerĒ in the Middle East, first Nasser, then Saddam Hussein, now, the President of Iran.)


††††††††††† Bushís and the European Unionís decision to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority because of Hamaís victory was about as smart as Dullesís decision to withhold funding for the Aswan High Dam.Now, Iran has stepped in to fill the funding gap, and a suicide bomber has just killed 9 people and wounded 60 in Tel Aviv.


††††††††††† The failure of Israel and the west to accept the legitimacy of the Hamas victory is like Bush refusing to accept Goreís victory and Schroederís refusal to accept Merkelís victory and now Berlusconiís refusal to accept Prodiís victory.It seems to me that the Hitlers are in the west, if Hitlers are defined as people who assume power legally but not democratically and then launch wars of aggression on the basis of concocted intelligence.


††††††††††† Anyway, the refusal of the west to fund the Palestinian Authority, thereby supporting illegal occupation and collective punishment, has only created a golden opportunity for the enemies of peace and of Israel to strengthen their position in the Middle East.I think the real problem is that Bush is learning disabled.This makes him far more dangerous than if he was just stupid or lazy.Bush canít learn from his mistakes.It was the height of arrogance and stupidity for him to think that the Iraqis, who invented writing, were waiting for a mediocre attention deficit disordered Yale student who inherited his office from his father to bring them freedom and democracy.


††††††††††† The invasion of Iraq has weaked the United States and Israel, just as the withdrawing of funding of the Aswan High Dam destabilized the Middle East and led to war in short order.What Iran is showing by thumbing its nose at the United States by continuing its nuclear program and funding the Palestinian Authority, is that the invasion of Iraq was a catastrophic mistake that has only strengthened Iranís position in the perpetual struggle between Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia for predominance in the Middle East.It also shows that the United States was wrong not to engage in discussions with Iran when Iran offered.


††††††††††† One possible explanation for this incompetence, and one I donít entirely discount, is that the United States is trying to provoke a wider war in the Middle East.If the Bush Administration and Israel can paint the entire Palestinian people as ďterroristsĒ and criminalize them in the same way the right wing in the United States is trying to criminalize illegal immigrants, then the groundwork will be laid for international acceptance of wholesale expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank.But to where? Guantanamo?


††††††††††† There is really no alternative to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Israeli and American refusal to deal with the realities on the ground is what is making more bloodshed inevitable.


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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf