by Paul Craig Roberts
January 17, 2008
After pandering to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s right-wing government last week, US president George W. Bush carried the Israeli/neoconservative campaign against Iran to Arab countries. Sounding as authentic as the “Filipino Monkey,” Bush told the Arab countries that “Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” and that “Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere.”
To no effect. Every country in the world, except America, knows by now that the US is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and that the neoconservative drive for US hegemony over the world threatens the security of nations everywhere. But before we get into this, let’s first see what Bush means by “terrorist” and Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism.
Bush considers Iran to be the leading state sponsor of terror, because Iran is believed to fund Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian ghetto. Hezbollah and Hamas are two organizations that exist because of Israeli aggression against Palestine and Lebanon. The two organizations are branded “terrorist” because they resist Israel’s theft of Palestine and Israel’s designs on southern Lebanon. Both organizations are resistance organizations. They resist Israel’s territorial expansion and this makes them “terrorist.”
They are terrorists because they don’t receive billions in US military aid and cannot put armies in the field with tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships, backed up by US spy satellites and Israel’s nuclear weapons – although Hezbollah, a small militia, has twice defeated the Israeli army. However, Palestine is so thoroughly under the Israeli heel that Hamas can resist only with suicide bombers and obsolete rockets. It is dishonest to damn the terrorist response but not the policies that provoke the response.
The US is at war in Iraq, because the neoconservatives want to rid Israel of the Muslim governments – Iraq, Iran and Syria – that are not American surrogates and, therefore, are willing to fund Palestinian and Lebanese resistance to Israeli aggression. Israel, protected by the US, has disobeyed UN resolutions for four decades and has been methodically squeezing Palestinians out of Palestine.
Americans do not think of themselves or of Israel as terrorist states, but the evidence is complete and overwhelming. Thanks to the power of the Israel Lobby, Americans only know the Israeli side of the story, which is that evil anti-semite Palestinians will not let blameless Israelis live in peace and persist in their unjustified terror attacks on an innocent Israeli state.
The facts differ remarkably from Israel Lobby propaganda. Israel illegally occupies Palestine. Israel sends bulldozers into Palestinian villages and knocks down Palestinian houses, occasionally killing an American protester in the process, and uproots Palestinian olive groves. Israel cuts Palestinian villages off from water, hospitals, farmlands, employment and schools. Israel builds special roads through Palestine on which only Israelis can travel. Israel establishes checkpoints everywhere to hinder Palestinian movement to hospitals, schools and from one enclave or ghetto to another. Many Palestinians die from the inability to get through checkpoints to medical care. Israel builds illegal settlements on Palestinian lands. Israeli Zionist “settlers” take it upon themselves to evict Palestinians from their villages and towns in order to convert them into Israeli settlements. A huge wall has been built to wall off the stolen Palestinian lands from the remaining isolated ghettoes. Israeli soldiers shoot down Palestinian children in the streets. So do Israeli Zionist “settlers.”
All of this has been documented so many times by so many organizations that it is pathetic that Americans are so ignorant. For example, Israeli peace groups such as Gush Shalom or Jeff Halper’s Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions provide abundant documentation of Israel’s theft of Palestine and persecution of Palestinians. Every time the UN passes a resolution condemning Israel for its crimes, the US vetoes it.
The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees’ film, The Iron Wall, reveals the enormity of Israel’s crimes against Palestine.
President Jimmy Carter, Israel’s friend, tried to bring peace to the Middle East but was frustrated by Israel. Carter was demonized by the Israel Lobby for calling, truthfully, the situation that Israel has created “apartheid.”
Historians, including Israel’s finest, such as Ilan Pappe, have documented The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, the title of Pappe’s book published in 2006.
Israelis, such as Uri Avnery, a former member of Israel’s Knesset, are stronger critics of Israel’s policies toward Palestine than can be found in America. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is more outspoken in its criticism of Israeli policies than any newspaper would dare to be in North America or Europe.
But it is all to no avail in brainwashed America where Israelis wear white hats and Arabs wear black hats.
The ignorance of Americans commits US foreign policy to the service of Israel. As Uri Avnery wrote recently, a visitor from another planet, attending the recent press conference in Jerusalem, would conclude that Olmert is the leader of the superpower and that Bush is his vassal.
Americans don’t know what terror is. To know terror, you have to be a Palestinian, an Iraqi, or an Afghan.
Layla Anwar, an Iraqi Internet blogger, describes what terror is like. Terror is families attending a wedding being blown to pieces by an American missile or bomb and the survivors being blown to pieces at the funeral of the newlyweds. Terror is troops breaking down your door in the middle of the night, putting guns to your heads, and carrying off brothers, sons, and husbands with bags over their heads and returning to rape the unprotected women. Terror is being waterboarded in one of America’s torture dungeons. Terror is “when you run from hospital ward to hospital ward, from prison to prison, from militia to militia looking for your loved one only to recognize them from their teeth fillings in some morgue.”
For people targeted by American hegemony, terror is realizing that Americans have no moral conscience. Terror is the lack of medicines from American embargoes that led to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. When asked by Lesley Stahl if the American policy was worth the children’s deaths, Madeleine Albright, President Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, said “we think the price is worth it.”
In the feeble minds of the White House Moron and his immoral supporters, the massive deaths for which America is responsible, including those inflicted by Israel, have nothing to do with Muslim enmity toward America. Instead, Muslims hate us for our “freedom and democracy,” the real threat to which comes from Bush’s police state measures and stolen elections.
There is dispute over the number of Iraqis killed or murdered by Bush’s illegal invasion, a war crime under the Nuremberg standard, but everyone agrees the number is very large. Many deaths result from American bombing of civilian populations as the Israelis did in Lebanon and do in Gaza. There is nothing new about these bombings. President Clinton bombed civilians in Serbia in order to dictate policy to Serbia. But when Americans and Israelis bomb other peoples, it is not terror. It is only terror when the US or Israel is attacked in retaliation.
The Israeli assault from the air on Beirut apartment houses is not terror. But when a Palestinian puts on a suicide belt and blows himself up in an Israeli cafe, that’s terror. When Clinton bombs a Serbian passenger train, that’s not terror, but when a buried explosive takes out an American tank somewhere in Iraq, that’s terror.
Aggressors always have excuses for their aggression. Hitler was an expert at this. So are the US and Israel.
Unfortunately for the world, there’s little chance for change in America or Israel. The presidential candidates (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) who would bring change in Washington, without which there will be no change in Israel, are not in the running for their party’s nomination. As John J. Mearsheimer noted on January 12, the candidates in the running are as much under the thumb of the Israel Lobby as Bush. The candidates are Bush clones as strongly committed as Bush to hegemony, war, Israel and executive power.
The possible exception is Obama. If he is an exception, that makes him a threat to the powers that be, and, as we might have witnessed in the NH primary, the Republican-supplied, Republican-programmed Diebold electronic voting machines can easily be rigged to deny him the Democratic nomination. Hillary will not resist Israel’s wishes, and her husband’s presidency bombed at will his demonized victims.
There is no essential difference between the candidates or between the candidates and George W. Bush. Alabama Governor George Wallace, a surprisingly successful third party candidate for the presidency, said as long ago as 1968, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican Parties.” Today, four decades later, there’s not a penny’s worth of difference, not an ounce of difference. Both parties have revealed themselves to be warmonger police state parties. The US Constitution has few friends in the capital city.
Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.