Cowboys and Indians: Not Mere Relics of Westerns

A few hours after resigning from Tony Blair’s government, Robin Cook said that he quit because of the West’s double standard in dealing with Iraqi and Israeli violations of UN Security Council resolutions. “Thirty years have passed since UN Security Council Resolution 242 asked Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian occupied lands, but it doesn’t seem that we are losing our patience over Israel ignoring the resolution,” Cook reminded the British and American governments.

Like Cook, millions of ordinary people in most parts of the world, protesting against the US-led invasion of Iraq, reflected their revulsion of American hypocrisy by burning Israeli flags and demanding termination of US support for Israel.

Why then, have successive US governments retained policies that smack of blatant discrimination and racism, underpinning their distorted worldview, and which has caused so much pain and suffering across the globe? The answer lies in two simple words: “Cowboys and Indians”.

In a refreshing new study conducted by a Canadian scholar, Alden Mayfield, the obvious in US-Israeli relations is unravelled, – an area usually shielded by obfuscation by many “embedded” analysts too afraid of being labelled “anti-Semitic”.

Mayfield regards the American pattern of demonising, conquering, colonising, occupying and plundering nations similar to the Israeli pattern. The history of the expansion of the US is evidence of this pattern. Israel, as a strategic US partner, continues this tradition in a post-modern process of conquest é disguised in a rhetoric of democratic jargon and liberal values.

According to Mayfield, from the beginning of the American colonies to the present era, the US agenda has always been dedicated to territorial expansion in order to control natural resources. The colonisation of indigenous Indians, demonised as “native savages” by “humane” cowboys, is an example of this imperialistic agenda.

Modest estimations put the systematic slaughter of native Indians between 20 and 30 million. By the time the cowboys rode back against a backdrop of a peaceful sunset, there remained less than a million Indians, and their land had been stolen.

Much the same tragic experience befell the Mexicans. What are now Texas, New Mexico and California were once Mexican territories. The US simply annexed these lands by following a pattern of demonisation leading to conquest and permanent occupation.

This pattern has been ruthlessly implemented by the Zionist state. From the origins of the illegal 1947-48 occupation of Palestine, western powers demonised Arabs as uncivilised savages unwilling to share their lands with the Jewish people. During this phase, the west, under UN cover, illegally justified this arbitrary form of institutionalised colonisation as it partitioned Palestine. In continuing the pattern of “cowboys and Indians”, Zionist terrorists systematically slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Mayfield insists that Palestinians were either forced to leave their lands at gunpoint, or be killed.  The next phase of colonisation is forced assimilation into apartheid ghettoes é but this has not resulted in the expected success. Disobedient Palestinians are demonised as “terrorists”, who refuse to turn their backs and walk away. If they did, this would allow Zionist settlers from Europe, America and South Africa to reign supreme over illegally occupied lands.

Many Israeli human-rights activists have confirmed the brutal tactics applied by successive Zionist leaders to evict Palestinians from their land. Such people include Uri Avnery, an author and head of the Israeli peace movement ‘Gush Shalom’.

In an eye-witness report, he describes how four villages é Imwas, Yalu, Bet Nuba, and Dir Ayub é were obliterated in 1967. “I saw the bulldozers flattening the houses. When I tried to take photos, the soldiers drove me away,” he said.

While the inhabitants of these villages linger in the refugee camps of Ramallah, facing further evacuation and transfer in an uncertain future decided by the Bush-Sharon clique, their original land has been reshaped. On their dispossessed land has been created “Canada Park”, much to the shame of Canada, which accepted the “honour” gratefully.

Similarly, the village of Lubya was razed to the ground, and in its place a forest has been established and named “South Africa Forest”. Criminal acts of this nature, designed to hide the tragedy of innocent people, is continuing to this day.

The US-Israeli engineered coup to replace Yasser Arafat with Mahmoud Abbas as a pliant deputy sheriff willing to bring the intifada to a halt and facilitate the perpetuation of Israeli occupation, is a continuation of “cowboys and Indians”.

Likewise, the invasion of Iraq has, once again, demonstrated that the US is a pioneer in the field of colonisation. American methods have become increasingly barbaric: carpet bombing, blasting missiles into crowded residential areas, killing civilians, torturing political opponents, bulldozing homes, uprooting farmlandséthe list of terrorism is endless.

(Mr. Iqbal Jasarat is Chairman of the Media Review Network, which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.)