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Published in the 16-31 Oct 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Terror Unlimited by Bush & Sharon Ltd 

By Karamatullah K. Ghori

In the first of the three nationally televised debates between the incumbent George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, on September 30 in Florida, the two sparred on a number of topics on which their views visibly differed and clashed.

However, they didn't contest each other at all on the absolute need, in their sense, of ensuring Israel's security in the region. They seemed in complete accord with each other that U.S. interests in the ME were tied with those of Israel. By the same token, the two rivals kept a deafening silence on the abject plight and suffering of the hapless Palestinians at the hands of the Bush-Kerry friend, the 'bulldozer' Ariel Sharon.

The absence of a specific prior understanding between the two not to bring in any Muslim cause in their disputation-be that Palestine or Chechnya-doesn't make the total blackout of Muslim issues any less jarring. And yet both contenders repeatedly brought into the focus the element of nuclear proliferation and, in that context, the so-called nuclear ambitions of Iran. Kerry, at the fag-end of the debate, underlined the top priority he assigned to nuclear proliferation as the gravest danger to global peace and U.S. hegemony of the world.

Bush is, of course, no less perturbed at the prospect of Iran posing even the tiniest of danger to Israel's monopoly of a nuclear arsenal in the ME. He has the means that Kerry doesn't-at least not yet-possess to lend teeth and muscle to his undisguised hostility and enmity towards Iran. A report that made headlines throughout the world, recently, related to Washington's ready concurrence in the Israeli request for 500 of those deadly 'bunker buster' bombs that U.S. used to devastating effect in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountain caves. Indeed nobody in Washington seems inclined to ask the obvious question why Israel should need these deep penetration bombs in the absence of an Afghanistan surrounding it?

Friends and foes of Israel-there being none of the latter category in Washington-know so well that Ariel Sharon is preparing for his next adventure in Iran. Bush is four squares behind his friend's 'vision' to decimate any real or potential danger to Israel's military might, pivoted on its nuclear monopoly, in the region. As Hasnain Haikal, the Arab world's most renowned and revered political commentator recently wrote in Al Ahram, Sharon's dream of a greater Israel extends right up to the Indian Ocean. Iran has been in his sights, and those of other rabid Zionists like him, for a long time. George W. Bush, by his own belief and conviction, is as committed to the Zionist dream as Sharon or anybody else.
For the moment, though, Sharon has his attention riveted on pulverizing the remaining strength of the badly mauled Palestinian resistance, virtually in its last throes. In lock-step with him, Bush's focus is spot on snuffing out the far more robust and energetic Iraqi resistance to U.S. occupation. 

Time is of the essence to both predators of the Palestinians and the Arabs. Sharon wants to beat the inhabitants of the dirt-poor Gaza into submission before moving on to the next step of incorporating hundreds of Israeli settlements, built on usurped Palestinians lands on the West Bank, into Israel. He must do it in the three remaining months of the current year. By then he and his friends in Washington hope to see their Iraqi proxies retaining their incumbent power after a sham 'democratic' election and opening a supposedly sovereign Iraq to wholesale plunder by American and Israeli enterprises.

So Sharon is making a horrible example of the Palestinians of Gaza daring to challenge his military Goliath. He has used the killing of two Israeli children in an Israeli settlement in Gaza, by a crude home-made Palestinian rocket fired from the Jabaliya refugee camp, as the pretext to unleash a ruthless campaign of mayhem and murder of the Palestinians-men, women and children. In less than a week, more than 70 Palestinian civilians have been butchered in cold blood by a formidable force of Israeli soldiers backed by 200 American-supplied tanks, bulldozers and gun-ships. Sharon is exacting a heavy toll of life from the cowering inhabitants of Gaza while his bulldozers are mowing down scores of Palestinian homes every day. 

So wanton is Sharon's lust for Palestinian blood that his trigger-happy drunken soldiers are making no distinction at all between the so-called 'terrorists' and innocent civilians. The Israeli bulldozers tore down, for instance, a kindergarten for Palestinian children. Sharon is like a rampaging elephant in a jungle uprooting all that he encounters in his wild frenzy. And then Bush wonders why there is violence against U.S. and its client state number one.

Sharon has not been perturbed in his single-minded pursuit of his grand scheme by so much as a squeak of protest from any country, or leader, in the west. With George Bush sanctifying Sharon's brute terror as a 'legitimate' fight against terrorism, the Israeli predator has no cause of concern about protest from lesser mortals. If he has the American bull by its scruff, there is absolutely no one to disrupt his 'mission' to make the lives of the Palestinians hell in the ( Israeli ) 'Promised Land.' 

Time is of even greater essence to Bush in Iraq. He has a much greater challenge to cope with, in a relatively shorter time, in Iraq than Sharon in Gaza and the West Bank. And his sense of urgency to accomplish his mission the soonest must have increased immensely after his TV debate with Kerry in Florida where his challenger floored him repeatedly on Iraq. He must, by his own reckoning, reclaim his standing with the American electorates by showing them a scorecard of solid 'victories' in his battles against the Iraqi freedom fighters-militants and rebels to him. The window of opportunity for him is shrinking by the day as the deadline of November 2-the date of presidential election in U.S-draws to a close.

So Bush, like Sharon in the occupied territories-is making a show of his own strength in occupied Iraq. Places like Fallujah, Samarra and the redoubtable Sadar City in Baghdad are being targeted, day and night, by bombing from the air and ferocious military incursions on land. The recent 'victory' in Samarra, after days of furious fighting in which the casualty toll was high on both sides, is being hailed in the American establishment media as proof that Bush is gaining the upper hand in his battle for supremacy against the 'terrorists' in Iraq. 

The people of Samarra were subjected to a ruthless and indiscriminate massacre by the cocky Americans and their bumbling stooges in the interim Iraqi government. Falah Naqib, the puppet styling himself as the Minister of Interio, lost no time in giving his masters a clean chit when he proclaimed that no civilians were killed in Samarra. He called the American savagery as " a great day for Samarra." Naqib was obviously blind to the fact that the Samarra General Hospital counted at least 23 children and 18 women among the dead bodies brought to its casualty ward.

But Bush's 'victory' in subduing Samarra could prove to be deceptive in comparison to what the Americans might face against the organized resistance of the freedom fighters in Fallujah and Sadar City. Samarra had no organized resistance. Compared to the other two, it is also much smaller and open. In other words, it was virtually defenceless against heavy and sustained bombardment from the air and land based forces of the world's only super power. Not so easy would it be for the demoralized American soldiers to break through the defences of the hugely populated and thickly interwoven, demographically, Fallujah and Sadar City. Clearly, with this fear in their minds, the American military commanders have been dropping bombs indiscriminately on the civilians of Fallujah and Sadar City with unfailing regularity in order to soften them up before a deadly final assault. 

Of course, the Bush administration, in its frenzy for mayhem and murder, has never bothered to keep a tally of how many Iraqis are being sacrificed to the imperialist lust of Bush & company. General Tommy Franks, the first U.S. commander to unleash terror on Iraq in the ongoing bloody saga, proudly proclaimed that he wasn't in the 'business of body count'. So the Americans haven't bothered to take stock of how many tens of thousands of Iraqis have been slaughtered in their occupied Iraq.

But Bush and his cohorts-the empire dreamers and ideologues-are also so dishonest as to deliberately conceal the mounting toll of lives amongst the occupation soldiers. The official casualty toll of American soldiers killed in Iraq in the nearly 20 months of war and occupation stands, to date, at a highly misleading one thousand plus. The actual toll, according to independent observers and even some of the close 'allies' of Washington in this sinister war, is at least four times that high. 

The Pentagon, that veritable beehive of arch neo cons ruling the roost in the Bush era, has devised a very clever and disingenuous method of counting the American dead. It doesn't count, for instance, the death toll in the 'contractors' who have been doled out lucrative contracts to fill in the jobs normally assigned to regular troops. These 'contractors' make up anywhere from ten to twenty per cent of U.S. forces in Iraq but their dead go unaccounted for. They are simply not mentioned at all.

Likewise, those of the 'green card' holders drafted into the military ranks on promise of getting U.S. nationality at the end of their 'service'-if they survived-are also going unaccounted for in the casualty tabulations. The logic in their case is simple: they aren't American citizens to deserve a mention in the casualty lists.

Bush has one advantage over Sharon in their shared crusade against the Arabs and the Muslims. He has a puppet like Iyad Allawi to lean on, and use his name and authority, to unleash terror on the occupied Iraqis. But Sharon doesn't bother by such encumbrances. He is a bulldozer and believes in pulverizing everything, men or material. He has thus virtually decimated the Palestinian Authority in the occupied lands and is determined to uproot the last vestiges of any organization in the territories under his subjugation.

But Iyad Allawi is serving Bush and the American interests as loyally and robustly as expected of a puppet, just as another American puppet, Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, has been straining on his leash to prove his worth to his masters and handlers in Washington.

Allawi was summoned to the U.S. to contribute his bit to Bush's flagging election campaign and shore it up as best as he could. Allawi didn't disappoint his pay masters by standing before a joint sitting of the U.S. Congress in Washington and thank America for all that Bush has done to 'liberate' his people. Allawi was beaming with pride like a poodle on a silver leash and heaping praise on a country responsible for a wholesale plunder and decimation of Iraq. At the very moment he was paying his obeisance to his masters, they were blasting away the homes and hearths of the besieged residents of Fallujah and Sadar City for the 'crime' of standing up to their torturers and predators.

There is little doubt about the designs and master plans of Bush and Sharon to unleash ever more terror on their Arab and Muslim quarries in the period ahead. Bush is desperately hoping to retain the White House in November in order to carry on with his plans of terror unlimited. Sharon must be praying for his 'friend' and 'partner' to carry the November election so the two of them may persist in more of what they have been doing so far with such grim determination.

But even a change of faces in the White House is unlikely to make any amends in the joint U.S.-Israeli resolve to take their grand anti-Muslim design to its logical conclusion, come what may. Those who may have watched Kerry in his sabre rattling with Bush in Florida on Sept. 30, or his running mate John Edwards sparring with Dick Cheney in Ohio on October 5, couldn't have missed to notice the exuberance of these two Democrats to be counted among the most vocal and ardent votaries of Israel. Edwards, in particular, looked like shouting from his roof- top about Israel's 'right' to defend itself against the Palestinian 'terrorists.' 

Sharon ought to be the happiest man on earth after these American debates. Whatever the outcome of the November election, he can rest assured he will have a partner and committed 'crusader' in an open-ended mission to go after Muslim targets anywhere in the world, especially in Israel's neighbourhood. Israel's 'security', the euphemism for the Zionist dream of a 'Greater Israel' will be priority number one for Washington.

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