Bush Opts for War


               The Bush Administration has decided to pursue a military rather than a diplomatic path in the Middle East.   Cutting off funds to the Palestinian Authority and prohibiting contacts between American officials and the Palestinian Authority is not a pressure tactic, it is an act of war.  Diplomatic relations are normally severed prior to the initiation of hostilities.  With a president who disregards the constitution, war is no longer declared by Congress, but by fiat of the chief executive.  Bush has done just that.


               American support for continued illegal Israeli seizure and occupation of land, support for Israeli’s refusal to hand over $50 million a month in taxes that it collects are depicted in the western media as pressure tactics.  Warnings by the new Hamas led Palestinian government that collapse of the Palestinian Authority will result in a return to the situation before the Oslo Peace Accords, but at a much higher level of violence are being ignored in the west.


               Bush’s policies are designed, in fact, to provoke the Palestinians into violence.  The Israelis seized the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war because Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israel shipping, thereby essentially blockading the port of Elath.  Of course, even Moshe Dayan said it was a causus belli, but reasons matter.  If closing the Straits of Tiran was an act of war, then the economic attacks on the Palestinian Authority by the Bush Administration, the European Union, and the Israeli government is no less a declaration of war.  They are designed to humiliate the Palestinians and force them to do desperate acts.  It says that Israel had the right to steal your land and water because EGYPT, not you, closed the Straits of Tiran.  Now, we can annihilate you economically while Egypt urges you to accept these humiliating and hypocritical terms from Israel and the United States.  Well, no one is going to accept it, because it is a deal designed to be rejected.  Bush wants war, and he is going to get it.


               This war will solve nothing, it will just be another chapter in the ongoing conflict between the western invaders of the Middle East and the indigenous population that began in the mid 19th century and continues today.  Over a century of slaughter in an attempt to make the natives submit has not worked in the past.  It will not work in the future.  Only a fair political settlement will bring peace, justice and prosperity to the Middle East.


               What is needed is a consummate politician.  However, people like Bush who steal elections rather than win them through political skill have only one arrow in their quiver, force.  That is why Bush’s solution to every problem is to expand the powers of the presidency: to incarcerate people without trial forever, to wage war without oversight or checks and balances, to torture and abduct people…in short, Bush is a gangster, not the leader of a great democratic nation.  Gangsters don’t negotiate, they attack without warning.  Get ready for general war in the Middle East.


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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf