Monday, December 13, 2010

Middle East Justice Part 5-Terrorism

The Palestinian cause and Western influence in the ME has encouraged terrorism.  The PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), Hizbollah, and Al Queda are all organizations that have arisen against injustices influenced or caused by Western influences.

The PLO was the first organization to try and govern, protect and defend the nationless people of Palestine. They were created as the Palestinian authority by the Arab League in 1967.   The PLO was considered a terrorist organization by many western states, though recognized by many non-western states.   They won international recognition in the UN and observer status in 1974.  They were not recognized by the US as a legitimate authority until 1991, when they agreed to recognize Israel as a state.

Hizbollah was a similar organization, aided by Syria and Iran, to fight Israel from Lebanon.  They formed as a force against Israel and Western interests in 1982, when the PLO left Lebanon.

The PLO and Hizbollah, were not only targeted by the US as terrorists, but also, sardonically, by Arab states themselves, who would support the groups one day, and act as enemies the next.

The whole recipe of ME international relations is literally blowing up in the faces of Arab and Western States alike.  The ME is on a downward spiral of destabilization, as foundations for Arab interests are eroded (exactly the effect neo-cons proffered in their policy papers);  and the US is exposed to more threats and anit-American sentiments around the globe.  The US is also suffering from a plague of domestic fear and international isolationism as the unjust nature of our ME policies become transparent to the world.  This is exacerbated by our blind loyalty to Israeli leaders.  

Keep in mind, there were/are many tit for tat bombings/killings in the Palestinian/Israeli battle, but who has tried to work out a deal that benefits the Palestinians?  They had their land/homes taken away with the inception of Israel as a nation, and, in the cases of villages close to roads important to transport to Israel, had their villages burned to the ground. The Palestinians did not have an Army, and their allies were systematically eroded by Western influences, and they had nowhere to address their grievances.  A recipe for terrorism.

Let me just insert here that injustices done to the Jewish people during WWII do not justify injustices done to Palestinians.  These are two separate issues. 

In my view the way to address this ongoing saga is from the root:  acknowledging that the creation of Israel was an injustice to the Palestinians, and instituting the land for peace option.  Acknowledging the initial injustice create an opening for Palestinian leaders to empathize with the Israeli plight.  I think the original partition map must go, and new territories negotiated with congruous borders, not pieces of one State among the other in an illogical pattern.  This against the 'peace for peace' option advanced by neo-conservative leaders, who would like to see Israel as such a military threat to its enemies, that they dare not threaten it (including a right to pre-emptive strike as a means of instilling dominance/fear.)

Moving to another terrorist group: Al Queda, according to my political geography teacher was fueled by the US's tactical use of Osama Bin Laden as an 'ally'.  I didn't know, until this geography class, that the US employed Bin Laden against Russian forces when Russia invaded Afghanistan.  As the history was told to me, upon Bin Laden's return, the US had set up military complexes around the oil fields of Kuwait (as a result of the first gulf war), a threatening move according to Bin Laden.  This, according to Ms. Chattergee was the impetus for Bin Laden to rail against America and form Al Queda...NOT as US propaganda said over and over again, because Al Queda hates US freedoms. This agrees with Bin Laden's initial statement, that his attacks on the US were due to extreme resistance to US foreign policy.  

This reminds me of another snippet from Holland's book, America and Egypt, about Goha's nail.  The goes that a person Goha sold his home to a friend, under one condition:  Goha would retain ownership on one nail in the house.  Under the agreement Goha frequented the house day and night inspecting the nail, until he eventually married the owners daughter and got his house back.  According to Holland, this typifies the fear ME leaders have of the West.  The nail = oil, and states in the ME fear US and Western interests taking the whole of their states off the jumping board of oil interests.  This is a fear acted upon by Bin Laden.

The question US citizens should have is, "Is the fear well founded?"

Are these terrorist organizations reacting to a real threat?  How, exactly are we threatening the people and nations in the ME?  What non-violent options do terrorist organization representing Palestine have open to them?  What non-violent options do WE have open to US in these conflicts?

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