Tensions in the Middle East

01.13.03

Tensions in the Middle East have been heating up all weekend over the prospect of war with Iraq. Leaders of surrounding nations are warning of turmoil that will erupt in the event of war.

“If war breaks out, God forbid, it will be a big problem,” Abdullah told the official Jordanian news agency Petra. “Nobody can predict the dimension of the tragedy it (war) will have whether on the Iraqi people or the whole region.”

Abdullah said an Iraqi war could also exacerbate the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, which he ranked as a greater problem for the region. “It’s possible that (the Palestinian situation) would become further complicated if war erupts,” Abdullah said.

While on the surface these were warnings to Iraq to cooperate, their subtext is clear: go to war against Iraq, and Israel will come out the loser. It’s a bald-faced threat against the United States that essentially says, leave us alone or else we’ll revert to type and make Israel the scapegoat to deflect from other crises.

Anyone notice a pattern with the Mideast way of thinking? The rules of the game seem to be simple:

  1. Blame Israel for everything.
  2. Violence is always the West’s fault (and Israel’s). Arab states are never responsible for violence, since they’re always simply “reacting to provocation”.
  3. When violence is the fault of the Arab states, it’s a regional conflict and none of anybody’s business – even if they kill thousands of civilians in the process. Any intervention by outside forces is imperialism, colonialism, or simply the fault of the international Zionist lobby.
  4. Keep funding and encouraging Palestinian terrorism against Israel, as it ensures that the Palestinians will never make peace, thus making Israel a great scapegoat to deflect all other issues.
  5. “So before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel.” (quote from Leon Uris, The Haj).
  6. If in doubt about any of the above rules, refer back to rule #1.

The backwards thinking of this mentality seems to say that the world had better comply with the wishes of the terrorists, or else. Don’t attack Iraq or there will be trouble? Hah! It’s precisely if Iraq is allowed to build and stockpile weapons of mass destruction, unchecked by the rest of the world, that there will be trouble. And by then, it will be too late to do anything about it.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Peter 01.14.03 at 12:29 PM

That is a good quote from Leon Uris.

I think Israel will have problems after
the war with Iraq. Remember the Madrid
conference which led to Oslo? The Arab
leaders are terrified but they should be.
They never expose themselves to democratic
elections so how do they know how much
popular support they really have. In ’67
they fought with Israel to whip up public
sentiment and maneuver for leadership among
fellow Arab states, but it turned out disastrously
for them. Though no leader was overthrown
by revolutions. In fact the opposite happened
when Egyptians rallied around Nasser.

The US has to be careful too. We haven’t
invaded another country and set up an
occupation since 1945. I guess you can say
we did it with Afghanistan but indigenous
forces did most of the ground fighting and
I think the US only guarantees a 50 mile
radius around Kabul.

Iraq is different. We are talking about an
occupation on par with that of Japan and
Germany. If it works it would be beneficial
for the West and I think for the entire ME region.

But what ever happens, Israel will be forced to make
major concessions after this thing is over.
Even Sharon has said he is prepared to take
“painful” measures to achieve peace, and once
the Pals cosmetically rid themselves of Arafat
Bush will force him to. So it looks like soon we will
be treated again to the spectacle of Jews being forced
from their homes and a pal flag over flyng over Jerusalem.
The Arabs will gloat but super a-holes like
Chomsky and Said will complain the withdrawl doesn’t
go back to the 1967 lines. On the plus side maybe it
will reduce the pressure on Israel from the Europeans
and the new antisemitism raging on college campuses
may decline.

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