Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, April 15, 2003  

Not a lot of time for blogging today, but there is some news I feel compelled to note.

Mideast war, anyone? First, news that Iraq is devolving into bloody turf wars (more quickly even than I expected). Next, Arab nations voice concern at the US's Syrian saber-rattling. And last, as if there were any confusion, the US stood alone today in voting against four UN resolutions condemning Israel.

GENEVA - The United Nations Human Rights Commission on Tuesday overwhelmingly condemned Israel for "mass killing" of Palestinians, and for its settlement policy in the Palestinian territories.

The United States was alone in voting against all four resolutions, saying that the criticism of Israel was one-sided and unfair.

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All of this seems to confirm anti-war suspicions that the US would have no real stomach for rebuilding Iraq and that a war would hasten anti-American hatred. The bungling of the war and post-war chaos is bad enough, but the administration seems hell-bent on pissing off as many people as it can. My theory is that the administration is so deep with yes-men that it never departs from its own propoganda. The rest of the world, of course, has become deeply sensitized to each message the White House sends. Thus when Franklin Graham--who called Islam an "evil religion"--was invited to speak at the Pentagon on Palm Sunday, the Muslim world got the message. Thus when the US stands alone in defence of Israel--while simultaneously threatening Syria for much smaller violations--the world gets the message.

Yesterday on the Newshour, professor As'ad AbuKhalil really gave voice to these messages.

But the question we should raise is this: Does the United States think that it can really take a case to the international community on the basis of some illegal flyers and night vision goggles that they found across the border? Does this amount to a case they can convince the world?

In addition to that, they have to understand the credibility of the United States' allegation on Iraq even after the war, do not stand. Where are these al-Qaida members and leaders that we had heard so much about that were sheltered in Baghdad? Will they be turned over?

We will see a new fanatical movement -- just as the 1991 war produced bin Laden -- I brace myself and wonder what kind of a new fanatical fundamentalist movement we'll have on our hands, and when something nasty and sinister occurs a year or two from now, Americans will innocently wonder, "why do they hate us?"

And while we're talking US credibility, what about the North Korea situation? The US is cockily trumpeting the success their "policy" produced: provoking North Korea to request multilateral rather than face-to-face discussions. And they confidently talk of winning a war with North Korea. The truth is, Kim Jong Il has made a fool of the US and will continue to do so. The US--and more importantly, South Korea--can't afford a war with NK. There would literally be hundreds of thousands of casualties. If the Iraq invasion proved anything, it's that the US cannot afford a real war. Support for an imperial policy just isn't there.

Unfortunately, Kim Jong Il may not play nice. While the White House bungles (and bungles and bungles) what will North Korea do? Does the White House really wish to call North Korea out? On this issue, Frontline did a nice piece last week. The website has additional info, if you want to really freak yourself out.

All right, enough.

posted by Jeff | 4:01 PM |
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