Thursday, November 09, 2006

Policy-change for dummies

Sunni political parties in Iraq continue to move away from the political process and into more of an alignment with the armed resistance. And the Baath wing of the resistance threatens to go beyond straight nationalism to a policy of bleeding the American empire on Iraqi soil. Similarly with respect to Palestine, the most widely-read Palestinian, Abdulbari Atwan, publisher of Al-Quds al-Arabi, renews his call for a dissolution of the pretend Palestinian Authority and a return to square one, meaning popular resistance,while the military wing of the Hamas movement for the first time calls for reprisals American assets everywhere. (There is a long tradition of keeping the Palestinian resistance limited to Palestine, and Haniya and others said yesterday that is still the case; the point is this is another sign of change).

These trends away from politics toward national resistance, and beyond that from national resistance to policies of reprisal, are not the result of natural causes in the way that the phases of the moon affect the tides. They are the result of US policy. The Bush administration stood out yesterday for its failure to condemn the Israeli slaughter of 20 unarmed residents of Beit Hanoun in the worst round of civilian killing by the Israeli occupation forces in a number of years, lending support to Atwan's argument that any engagement in a so-called "political process" in these circumstances is a sham. There is no point.

The same logic is taking hold among the Sunni political parties in Iraq. At the most delicate point in the national reconciliation process, the symbol to many of an independent Iraq is sentenced to death by hanging. It was a gratuitous act, and probably there is no one of the age of reason in Iraq, or children either, for that matter, who doesn't realize the Bush administration was behind this, and that the logic seemed clear. Those who make the real decisions are against national reconciliation. What point is there in pretending.

Following the Democratic gains in Congress, there will be talk of a "change in policy" for the Bush administration, but if the owner/operators of the smoke machine have their way, there won't be any discussion what the strategy has been up to now, thus ensuring that any "changes" will be of the cliche-ridden, half-baked variety.

The strategy up to now has been highly aggressive demonization of any group associated with national resistance to foreign occupation. From the Cheney stump-speech: "This is not an enemy that can be ignored, or negotiated with, or appeased". In this view, there is no functional difference between national resistance and AlQaeda. This is becoming self-fulfilling, and people should be worried about that.

What to change in the "change in policy"? Eight words: National resistance to foreign occupation can be legitimate.


Anonymous Rosemary said...

Thanks for this one especially, Badger. For most Americans (I think) the situation is so complicated and reports are so reliably unreliable (usually bad guesses) and contradictory, they just throw up their hands and ignore them.

The Palestine example will be useful for some, if they know anything about Palestine, that is.

That final sentence comes through loud and clear:

National resistance to foreign occupation can be legitimate.

1:07 AM  

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