"How do I read today’s news through the lens of the past?
What I fear is that the “Israeli lobby” is working overtime to influence American public opinion on behalf of Israel’s military effort to “roll back the clock” and “change the map” of the region, going far beyond issues like prisoner exchange.
What I fear is that the progress of the American peace movement against the Iraq war will be diverted and undermined, at least for now, by the entry of Israel from the sidelines into the center of the equation.
What I fear is the rehabilitation of the discredited U.S. neoconservative agenda to ignite a larger war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. The neoconservatives’ 1996 “Clean Break” memo advocated that Israel “roll back” Lebanon and destabilize Syria in addition to overthrowing Saddam Hussein.
It is clear that apocalyptic forces, openly green-lighted by President Bush, are gambling on the impossible. They are trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Iraq through escalation in Lebanon and beyond. This is yet another faith-based initiative.
If the American people do not see through the headlines; if the Democrats turn hawkish; if the international community fails to intervene immediately, the peace movement may be sidelined to a prophetic and marginal role for the moment. But we can say the following for now:Militarism and occupation cannot extinguish the force of Islamic nationalism. Billions in American tax dollars are funding the Israeli troops and bombs.
There needs to be an exit strategy. The absence of any such exit plan is the weakest element of the U.S.-Israeli campaign. Just as the White House says it plans to deploy 50,000 troops on permanent bases in an occupied Iraq, so the Israelis speak of permanently eliminating their enemies, from Gaza to Tehran. The result will be further occupation, resistance and deeper quagmire.
The immediate conflict should not become a pretext for continuing the U.S. military occupation of Iraq. American soldiers should not be stuck waist-deep in a sectarian quagmire. Congressional insistence on denying funds for permanent military bases is a vital first step. Otherwise we will witness a tacit alliance between Israel and the U.S. to dominate the Middle East militarily.
Most important, Americans must not be timid in speaking up, as I was 25 years ago. Silence is consent to occupation.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Silence is consent to occupation.
* tom hayden:
Posted by lukery at 7/21/2006 02:12:00 PM