Powell’s Mission

Although some observers talked of Mr. Powell’s current mission as the most important peace attempt since Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy, the Secretary of State himself has no illusions about what he may achieve. In an interview with NBC’s “meet the press”, he declared: “I’m not going to come back with a peace treaty in hand. I may not even have a cease-fire in hand.”

Whether this kind of talk may be depicted as “realism” or “despairé is left to your discretion! But indeed, Mr. Powell has apparently forgotten all what he had learned in his former military career, especially the rule saying that you cannot tackle a problem when you are losing all your means even before beginning. This endeavor is generally labeled as ” loser’s behavior”, and the behaviorists may even talk about “depressive state”. Which brings us to the question: who is the loser and the depressive? Powell or Bush? Both of them or Sharon? Sharon or Arafat? Arafat or the powerless Arab leaders? The powerless Arab leaders or the impotent European Union? The E.U. or the useless United Nations? The U.N. or the suicide-bombers? And so on!

For you see the point. All those people- with the exclusion of the suicide bombers- are in power, is there any doubt about that? Yet, despite they have all the means the States can hold é armies and funds and all the rest é they seem (I well say: seem) unable to do anything to stop the blind violence of a blood-thirsty Israeli general who, despite he made a career and a living out of butchering people since he was the chief of the infamous 101 terrorist unit, he never assuaged his sinister desire for Palestinian blood.

Worst: Not only they sound unable to stop him, but some of them may be even his mentors, sponsoring and justifying his acts, as if these were the acts of a saint that should not be opposed! Thus when national security adviser Condoleezza Rice iterates Bush’s call for withdrawing the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories, she makes it clear that a major military operation could not instantly be ended. ” He (Bush) understands that it cannot be helter-skelter and chaotic”, she said. Otherwise: Sharon may still act, as he likes! There is no urgency!

Why on earth should the United States feel so concerned with the Palestinian blood to the point of making of the Middle East conflict a national priority? If the Palestinians were able to wait more than half a century, they can still wait for another half! Meanwhile, the United States would study all the possibilities to find a compromise that does not disturb too much the Israeli plans.

For example, if the Palestinian leadership is judged too demanding or too attached to what they call “their rights”, a way ought to be found to toppling that leadership. Then replacing it with another team, more “flexible” é or if you want more responding to the Israeli conditions- would be the issue.

As everybody knows, Mr. Bush public disavowal of Yasir Arafat and his refusal to meet him, lined up with Sharon’s policy towards the current Palestinian authority. But though Arafat has been criticized by many observers throughout the world, for his authoritative ways and possibly the corruption of some of his men, nobody ever recognized to Israel or to the United States the right to remove him or to attempt it by means of pressure and violence, as it is happening today. The Palestinians before anybody else would not forgive Israel and the United States for trying to break their will in humiliating their leadership. We all saw on the TV screens the fighters of Hamas é who are actually the political enemies of Arafat- lifting his portraits during their demonstrations in the West Bank. Which means that when it comes to resisting the occupation, there is no difference between the fighters of Fatah (Arafat’s Tanzim) and the other Palestinian factions, from the extreme left to the extreme right. The Americans and their Israeli allies were under the illusion that they could play on the contradictions and the rivalries between the Palestinians. They were all the time asking Arafat to murder or imprison his opponents and their activists. Of course, they did not say it plainly, because they fear the reactions in their own public opinion, but they suggested it “diplomatically”! To make the Palestinians kneel, nothing less than a civil war between their armed factions was expected and utterly desired by the Israelis and their allies. As that did not happen, the plan for the current military operations was ready since months and only waiting for a green light from Washington.

The Israelis and their allies were sure of their success. The impotent European Union and the powerless Arab rulers were not to weigh of any weight in the balance. And if they dare, it would be too late.

Now, the Israeli army is occupying the West Bank. We know since months that Arafat and his men were their hostages. Who is going to do anything to stop Sharon? And how?

The Europeans? They never declared any belligerence against the will of the United States. All their wars, from Africa to the Balkans, were coordinated fully or partially with the USA. As to the diplomatic activity, we all know that even if all the members of the Security Council decide to take a decision against Israel that will not suit the USA, the latter’s veto will make it nil.

The Arabs? Let’s talk about them. What did they do when Sharon invaded Lebanon in 1982? They just gathered in the Arab League headquarters and protested, exactly as they did since a few days.

Protesting and complaining to Mr. Kofi Anan, though it is always advised, will not deter the Israeli warfare. In 1982, Sharon was just a Minister in the Israeli cabinet, which means that he did not hold full power in his hands. He was able to conduce his war against Lebanon and the Palestinians until their banishment from the country, though. Today, he is Prime Minister. All the power is concentrated in his hands. He had succeeded to unveil the true face of the Peace Nobel-prize winner, Shimon Peres, thus making of him “his boy” and dragging the Nobel in the mud and the blood.

For those among the Arabs who have illusions about the Israeli Labor party, said to be more committed to peace than the Likud, it is time to wake up. The man who is leading the Israeli army through this revengeful bloody venture is a Labor leader.

Labor and Likud are butchering the Palestinian people. Would anybody dare to pretend that this is a lie?

Now to come back to the beginning of this story, and in the light of these considerations, we are entitled to ask: if Mr. Powell has already acknowledged his incompetence to tackle the crisis, what the devil is he going to do out there? If he has no plan, if his President has not empowered him with enough directives to deal with Sharon and Arafat, why should he ever trouble himself with such a useless trip?