March Issue 2003

By | Opinion | Viewpoint | Published 19 years ago

las, poor Musharraf! No matter what the Pakistani general does to please President Bush, he can’t get the US administration to reciprocate his unflinching loyalty.

A single phone call from General Powell and he turns his back on his Taliban allies. He surrenders his military bases to American forces. He allows FBI agents to roam the length of his country, picking up Pakistani citizens at will. He allows them to be bundled off to Guantanamo Bay. He allows them to be extradited, bypassing Pakistani law and courts.

And what does he get for his troubles? America adds Pakistan to its list of nations whose citizens are being considered a security risk: hundreds of Pakistanis living in the US are imprisoned; all Pakistanis entering the US are to be fingerprinted like criminal suspects.

But that’s only the insult — the added injury came when US airplanes dropped two 500-pound bombs on a mosque/seminary in Pakistan, and US officials announced they would chase enemy fighters into Pakistani territory. The latest: American ambassadors to both India and Pakistan have been accusing Pakistan’s Kashmir stance as ‘cross border terrorism,’ attracting feeble murmurs of disapproval from the Foreign Office.

“There is little [Musharraf] can do to counter the US military’s capacity for making bad situations worse,” says The Guardian. “And Musharraf must realise that his support for Washington does not mean Washington will always support him….”

That is the dilemma of the host of rulers in the Muslim world today. Saddam today, gone tomorrow! So how does a Muslim ruler in today’s world ensure Washington’s continued love and support?

Dale Carnegie, eat your heart out! Here’s a didactic framework for autocrats galore — the Musharaffs, Abdullas, and Assads of the Muslim world — on how to make the world’s sole super-power ‘keep on loving you’ in return.

Take your cue from America’s single sweetheart for 35 years — the one and only (drum roll, please) — Israel!

Everyone knows that America’s power base — presidents, senators, representatives, national security advisors, press, networks, Hollywood and televangelists — loves to love Israel. This little Mideastern country, pariah state to most of the countries in the world, calls the shots on America’s policy, both at home and abroad.

So here’s a primer for Muslim leaders on how to follow Israel’s lead, thereby possibly making their way to America’s heart.

Lesson one: “The course of love never did run smooth” (Shakespeare).  Jilt (or publicly snub) the US President. Like when George Bush called on Sharon to pull out his armies from the West Bank, Sharon snubbed the US President by non-compliance. He proceeded to scuttle Bush’s push for a UN peace mission to Jenin. When AP correspondent Fournier asked Bush what the “consequences for those who thumb their nose at the President of the United States” [meaning Mr. Sharon] would be, the President responded by blaming Chairman Arafat — whose performance, said Mr. Bush, had “just been disappointing … he’s let down the Palestinian people!”

In return, Bush ensured the Israeli premier’s continued access to the White House — Sharon was the only ruler of a foreign state who visited the executive office more often than Tony Blair last year.

Lesson Two: “‘Tis not that I love Caesar less, but that I love Congress more.” In his trip to Congress in June last year, Sharon charmed the US Congress with unsullied love. “Since my election as head of state,” quoth he, “I have made it my duty to tighten the links with the two houses of Congress, where we have numerous friends, rather than rely only on the American President as many of my predecessors have done.”

bush-2-mar03In return, Congress overwhelmingly expressed it’s unstinting support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, standing “in solidarity with Israel” as a frontline state in the war against terrorism. Bush, trying his hardest not to be outdone, declared that Israel has a right to “defend” itself and declared that conditions were not ripe for a Middle East peace conference.

Lesson Three: “Bury the heart and wound the knee.” “Most members of Congress chose to pony up [to Israel]” says Pat Buchanan, “rather than face the retribution of an Israeli lobby that has, in its trophy case, the scalps of two chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, J. William Fulbright and Chuck Percy.”

Add to that the scalps of a long list of Congressmen who ‘dared to speak out’ against Israel, including Paul Findley, Earl Hilliard and Cynthia McKinney. In the case of the latter, writes Alexander Cockburn, “Torrents of American Jewish money showered her opponent. Buckets of sewage were poured over McKinney’s head in the [Jewish-owned and edited] Washington Post and the Atlanta Constitution.”

Lesson Four: “Love is whatever you can still betray” (John le Carre). Israel has a history of selling out US interests for its national gain. Sophisticated US technology, reserved exclusively for US and Israeli use, has been sold by Israel to China. A long list of this classified information with a ‘For Sale by Israel’ sign has included the Phoenix missile, the Falcon fighter plane, and a near sale of AWACS.

“The United States has made very clear the strategic implications for US security interests, of Israel’s defense trade and transfer of US-made equipment, and advanced defense technologies to China,” said State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, in Washington this week. The Israeli response: As clear as mud.

Lesson Five: “Spies like us.” Jonathan Pollard, an U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, passed classified material to Israel. Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment, and his wife, Anne, who assisted her husband, got five years in jail. Israel has refused to return the material Pollard had turned over to Israel, and has petitioned the US President to release Pollard, a national hero in Israel.

The list of Israeli spies in America does not end there: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who sold US atomic secrets to the Soviets, aided by David Greenglass who milked the Los Alamos secret base. Master spy Klaus Fuchs — the “atom bomb spy,” and most recently uninvestigated Israeli ‘art students’ who reveal an ubiquitous presence around the 9/11 hijackers.

Read ex-Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky’s By Way of Deception, to see how Israel keeps tabs on it’s best friend, the United States.

Lesson Six: “Milk the land of honey.”Every time the US tries to form a coalition against an enemy, Israel upsets the boat. “In Desert Storm,” writes Buchanan, “Bush [41] had to bribe Yitzhak Shamir with 5 billion US dollars in aid, 400 million US dollars in loan guarantees, and Patriot missiles to stay out of the fighting, lest Israeli intervention dynamite our coalition.” As the second Gulf war rears its ugly head, a deputation of Israeli loan seekers is currently in Washington demanding a 12-billion US dollars special aid package.

Lesson Seven: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” (A Love Story). Thirty-five years ago, this June, the USS LIBERTY, plying in international waters off the Gaza strip and flying US colours, was attacked by Israeli aircraft. When two aircraft carriers in the region responded by launching fighter aircraft, they were recalled on orders from the White House. Worse was to follow — an attack by an Israel motor torpedo boat. Five torpedoes were fired at the Liberty, killing 34 and injuring 172 American sailors.

President Johnson reported the incident to the American people as a “six-minute accidental” attack. Admiral Moorer, Joint Chiefs of Staff, denies that the attack was an accident, but there has never been a congressional investigation. The USS LIBERTY story has been silenced, and Israel has never tendered an apology for the attack that resulted in the loss of American life and property.

Lesson Eight: “Poor anti-me” (repeat refrain). Say a single word against Israeli policy — against the attacks on Palestinian children, mention Israeli spies, or even the Israeli election scandal, and you are immediately labeled as anti-Semitic. This label applies even to those Jews who criticize Israel and Arabs — the original Semites — all are branded with the sizzle of the anti-Semitic iron.

The Zionist golden rule applies here: the holocaust guilt must overshadow every Israeli policy discussion, particularly when it is in relation to Israel’s racist and segregationist treatment of Palestinians.

If anyone recognises racism, it is Nelson Mandela. Writing in the context of Israel, he defines apartheid as “a crime against humanity.” He laments the fact that “Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, children in particular .”

Israel is the only surviving apartheid-based regime in the world. Currently, it has barred one of the few Arab political parties from taking part in the scheduled elections. Its policies make Strom Thurman’s Dixiecrats of the ’40s look like the Salvation Army.

Lesson Nine: “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” Here are the famous ‘last words’ of a US Vice President: “The people who own and manage national impact media are Jewish and, with other influential Jews, helped create a disastrous US Mideast policy… By national impact media, I am referring to the major news wire services, pollsters, Time and Newsweek magazines, The New York Times, Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune. For example, CBS’ Mr. (William) Paley is Jewish. So are Julian Goodman, who runs NBC, and Leonard Goldenson at ABC. And Katherine Graham who owns the Washington Post, and Mr. Sulzberger, The New York Times, are also Jews!

“I see no reason why nearly half the foreign aid this nation has to give goes to Israel, except for the influence of this Zionist lobby. I think the power of the news media is in the hands of a few people.…” thus spoke Vice President Spiro Agnew. Needless to say, the press he attacked, literally made a Mickey Mouse out of him.

Finally, Lesson Ten: “Please Sir, may I have some more?”(Oliver Twist). Since 1967, the US has given Israel over 130 billion US dollars (inclusive of interest costs), which amounts to 23,240 US dollars per Israeli citizen. According to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, this makes Israel one of the richest countries in the world, with a per capita gross domestic product greater than three European Union member states — Greece, Portugal and Spain.

At this moment, an Israeli delegation is in Washington to secure an emergency aid package worth 12 billion US dollars. Of this, a third is for military spending, to help further suppress Palestinians, and to support Sharon’s recent budget proposal to enhance Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The rest is in loan guarantees. This is, in addition, to the 3.2 billion US dollars Israel receives from the US in aid every year.

The US is expected to partake in this philanthropy in a year when its own economy is in an unofficial depression, unemployment is at staggering six per cent, and funding for the unemployed is running out. Our largest state governments are facing mammoth budget shortfalls; pension funds have been ravaged by corporate invaders; airline, financial institutions and technological companies continue to go bankrupt; and domestic holiday spending is at a 30-year low.

Yet, the American citizen will have to pay his pound of flesh for foreign aid to Israel, come April 15.

“Nux sico quit sit amor,” says Virgil: Now I know what love is. Or as a rocking bard put it, “The more you deceive ‘em, the more they like your technique!”

Now that the Muslim states understand the nature of the masochistic relationship between the US and its most favoured nation, they should take a cue from Israel and treat the US the way Sharon and his predecessors have been doing for the last 50 years. Maybe then they will stop being collectively treated as the Rodney Dangerfields of US foreign policy.