Sunday, January 15, 2006

History of the Future?

Niall Ferguson writes a brief history of the War of 2007-2011 at the Daily Telegraph. Some of the Harvard history professor's key points include: Many of the demographic origins of the war stood out starkly by the 1990s. Ariel Sharon's debilitating stroke in early 2006 robbed a Bush of a key ally in taking care of the Mahdi in Iran. Finally, the West didn't learn a lesson from the failed diplomacy of the 1930s:

So history repeated itself. As in the 1930s, an anti-Semitic demagogue broke his country's treaty obligations and armed for war. Having first tried appeasement, offering the Iranians economic incentives to desist, the West appealed to international agencies - the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Security Council. Thanks to China's veto, however, the UN produced nothing but empty resolutions and ineffectual sanctions, like the exclusion of Iran from the 2006 World Cup finals.

Read it all.


Anonymous guerrilla radio (italian B.) said...

Sharon: a man of war

Unlike Zionists (and their American friends) who gleefully proclaimed
after the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat that the world will be a
better place, the Palestine Solidarity Committee will not express glee
at the death - or impending death - of any human being. However,
with all the recent platitudes about how Ariel Sharon was 'a man of
peace' and how his death (physical or political) will negatively
affect 'the peace process', we believe it necessary to set the
record straight: far from being a man of peace, Sharon was a man of
violence and a war criminal!

For Palestinians and justice-loving people around the world, Sharon
will be remembered in the same way that we remember Hendrik Verwoerd,
General Franco, Mobutu Sese Seko and Saddam Hussain. Sharon's
military and political career has been marked by numerous acts of
terrorism and various atrocities. He believed in the language of
bloodshed, racism and the practice of brutal oppression and ethnic
cleansing, not in peace and justice. Throughout his military and
political career, Sharon distinguished himself as a brute and a bully.
The fact that he is gravely ill does not absolve him from the numerous
war crimes he is responsible for. Nor should it cause us to rewrite
history to make him look other than what he was.

We regard Sharon as a war criminal because his crimes against humanity
- as determined by the Geneva Conventions and by international law
- include:
1953: he was the leader of the Israeli army's Unit 101 that herded 69
civilians into their houses during a raid against the Palestinian
village Qibya - before dynamiting all the houses. There were no
1971: he promoted a policy of bulldozing and demolishing Palestinian
houses in the Gaza under the pretext of security. Destroying the houses
of an occupied population is a war crime under Geneva Conventions.
1982: he was the architect of Israel's invasion of Lebanon which
became known in Israel as 'Sharon's war'. His invasion resulted
in the deaths of more than 15 000 Lebanese civilians and he earned the
epithet 'the Butcher of Beirut'.
1982: during the invasion, Sharon cooperated with and provided
protection to the armed militias of the extreme right wing Phalange
fascist group when they massacred over 3 000 unarmed refugees (largely
women and children) in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. An Israeli
Commission of Enquiry found him "personally responsible" for the
massacres and ruled that he was not fit to be the Israeli minister of
1990-92: he served as Israel's housing minister. This period saw the
rapid and deliberate expansion of Israeli colonies (or settlements) on
Palestinian land. The building of settlements / colonies on occupied
land is illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
2000: Sharon triggered the second intifada by deliberately and
provocatively swaggering into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem,
supported by thousands of Israeli security personnel.
2003: he was responsible for initiating the building of the apartheid
wall, a grotesque 8-metre high wall which, on completion, will be 750
km long, imprisoning thousands of Palestinians and stealing large
tracts of Palestinian land. The International Court of Justice ruled
that the wall was illegal; Sharon refused to accept the ruling.
Through his prime ministership, he championed extra-judicial
assassination of Palestinian leaders and the wanton bombings of
Palestinian residential areas - both of which are illegal under
international law.
When he was taken ill, Sharon led the world's fourth largest army and
sat atop more than 200 nuclear warheads, continuing to refuse the
International Atomic Energy Agency any access to nuclear facilities.

Some observers are now referring to Sharon's Gaza redeployment to
argue their contention of him as a man of peace. Clearly, his decision
to remove the Israeli settlers from Gaza (whose presence there was, in
any event, illegal under international law) was calculated to
strengthen the occupation of the West Bank (including Jerusalem) and
was certainly not a move towards peace. The redeployment was
precipitated more by the Gaza resistance than by any concern for peace
on Sharon's part. There is also talk about how the "Road Map" will
suffer with Sharon's death. Does no one remember that Sharon refused
to accept the Road Map?

Finally, it is necessary for us to note that if Sharon's "peace plan"
sees the light of day on the ground, Palestinians will end up with 13
percent of their land! Quite a testimony for a man concerned with
peace. The only solution for a durable peace in which Jews and
Palestinians can live peacefully, with the security of both being
guaranteed, is one where all Palestinians and Israelis are able to live
together in a single democratic state which ensures human rights and
equality for all its citizens.

scegliamo con curi i nostri testimoni di pace
saluti dall'Italia

Blogger Joe Guarino said...

Great post, Glenn. Look forward to your work.


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