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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Stopper les incendiares de l’équipe Bush

by Bruno Odent

Stop the Pyromaniacs in the Bush Administration!

Translated Wednesday 23 August 2006, by Henry Crapo

Middle East: The pursuit of a strategy of force, of which the results are calamitous, increases the peril to the entire region and well beyond. Contrary voices are now being heard in the United States.

The politics of fear breeds chaos throughout the Middle East.

How far will the Bush administration go in wars it plans on several fronts in order to create, even if it means chaos, a "New Middle East"? The world has good reason to be concerned, after the war against Lebanon and the threats that "the global war on terrorism" implies for other parts of the region (Iran, Syria).

The United States president confirmed Saturday, during an opportune visit to the ultra-sophisticated center In McLean, Virginia, which is responsible for analyzing all espionage related to terrorism, his determination to continue along the path of this "global war". The war that has recently ravaged Lebanon is part, he affirms, "of a wider combat taking place in that region, between liberty and terrorism". He then repeated the very controversial language used by Condoleeza Rice, justifying the attack by saying that Lebanon is undergoing "birth pains" at a "turning point in its history".

A violation of the cease-fire raises new threats to Lebanon. Israel throws oil on the fire by kidnapping the Palestinian vice-prime minister.

The blind rush with this strategy has created terrible consequences. Far from reducing the tension it has exacerbated the whole crisis from Afghanistan to Irak, and on to Palestine. As this week’s events prove: murderous confrontation between NATO and the Taliban, massacres of dozens of Shiite pilgrims in Iraq, where a civil war has truly begun, the kidnapping of the Palestinian vice prime minister at Ramallah, and the violation of the cease-fire by Israel in southern Lebanon.

The record is catastrophic.
The record is catastrophic with respect to the intentions proclaimed by the Bush administration, which justify the war, in their own language, as aimed at "democratizing" and "pacifying" the country. But George W. Bush has no intention of changing his views. According to various sources, information originating in indiscretions by the Pentagon or elsewhere in the administration, attacks against Iran nuclear production sites are seriously envisaged. We can imagine into what convulsions such an escalation would plunge the region; and without doubt, the planet, with a major petroleum crisis just off stage. To say that the Bush administration represents a real threat to world peace is no exaggeration.

No one can say that the world was not warned. We must admit a certain merit on the part of the neo-conservatives that constitute the hard core of the team now in power in Washington, namely that they clearly announced their ambitions. The Project for a New American Century, leading the pack of think tanks, doesn’t mumble its words, describing the uncontested dominant role the Unites States should play "in the hour of globalization". With its mission shamelessly to spread Western values around the planet, according to the theoreticians William Kristol, Robert Kagan, or Paul Wolfowitz (for one year now, head of the World Bank), "the superiority of these values must be granted". In other words, they must make the way clear to ease the deployment of the major United States commercial and economic groups, leveling all the old national traditions, social and cultural, as if they were obsolete, make-shift barriers, whenever they become obstacles to their rule.

Contradictions become visible

Contradictions nevertheless seem today more and more evident between the proposed objectives and the results obtained in this strategy so dear to the hawks in Washington. We have seen in the war in Lebanon, where the official purpose was to eradicate the Hezbollah, a group listed by the White House on its "axis of evil", that this purpose was not achieved, and to the contrary, that the Islamist organization was strengthened, at least politically. We also see in all Arab-Moslem countries of the world that the "war on terrorism" is the principal argument for recruitment in integrist organizations, which flourish now from Egypt to Morocco, even in Jordan. With this, the resistance within the United States to the war-mongers increases. Pacifist actions gain in strength. And even in the inner circles of government power, some begin to sound warning bells, pointing in particular to what a confrontation with Iran will mean "for the very security of the American people".

Open Letter to Bush

Twenty former diplomats and military leaders, in an open letter to G. W. Bush, have called for an immediate opening of negotiations with Tehran. "In our role as former military leaders and as those responsible for foreign policy, we call on the Bush administration immediately to engage in direct discussions with the government of Iran, without preconditions, in order to resolve the present crisis in the Middle East", they write. They warn against plans to use military force. "The present crisis must be managed by diplomacy, not by arms", assert the signatories, among whom are Generals Robert Gord and Joseph Hoar, and also Morton Halperin, former officer of the State Department.

Last week, the former ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, a Democrat, also called for a more active diplomacy in the Middle East, and for negotiations with Iran and Syria, an opinion published in the Washington Post. He exhorted the president to "avoid a chain reaction" that could develop rapidly, and everywhere from Bombay to Cairo." The pyromaniacs of the Bush administration thus do not have the way as clear as might be imagined, given their concentrated power and the exhorbitant military means at their disposal. Everything must be done to stop them. Before it’s too late.

Two trillion dollars, (two million millions)

This is the cost to the United States, up to January 2006, of the cost of the war against Iraq, an amount equal to the gross national product (GNP) of the United Kingdom, according to Joseph Steiglitz, Nobel Prize economist in 2001, and former counsellor to Bill Clinton.

Translators note:

My apologies for several retranslations from French of statements made originally in English.

Closely related articles:

The Doctrine of the Neo-conservatives, by Jacques Coubard

Tight Coordination between Tel-Aviv and Washington, by Jacques Coubard

Afghanistan, the First Step, by Jacques Coubard

Editorial: Opting for Bloody Disorder, by Patrick Apel-Muller

Iraq, the other "Creative Chaos", by Hassane Zerrouky

Iran, Next Target?, by Jacques Coubard

A Green Light for the Destruction of the Palestinian Authority, by Françoise Germain-Robin

An Israeli Raid that Violated the Cease-fire, by Hassane Zerrouky

The Palestinian Vice Prime Minister Kidnapped by the Tsahal, by Anne Roy

Israeli Scandals, by Jacques Coubard

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